What Do Employees Want: More Money Or A Casual Dress Code? You Make The Call

A recent Randstad US survey of more than 1,200 employees across a variety of industries reveals that one-in-three workers would give up $5,000 in salary to be able to show up for work every day in their favorite T-shirt and jeans.

A Society for Human Resource Management report indicates that 50 percent of organizations now allow casual attire every day. This indicates an increase from the 18 percent that allowed every day casual attire five years ago in 2014. Even Goldman Sachs now allows company-wide casual clothing, citing "the changing nature of workplaces generally in favor of a more casual environment."

As to the interview process, however, the Randstad US survey showed that 65 percent of employees still feel it is important to wear more formal dress, a suit, and for men, with a tie, to an interview, no matter the organization's dress code. Jennifer Liu "1 in 3 workers would rather have a casual dress code than an extra $5,000 in pay" cnbc.com (Aug. 20, 2019).

So, the question for our readers is: would you give up $5,000 for a casual dress code?

Please take the poll. Here are some opinions of some of the McCalmon editorial staff:

Jack McCalmon, Esq.

Since we have a casual dress code, the answer would be "no", but from an employer's perspective, I think a casual dress code is worth far more than $5000 per employee. I believe a casual or business casual dress code helps with attracting and retaining talent not only because it saves employees' money, but also because it allows an employee to work comfortably and affordably.

For employers, one important element of a casual or business casual dress code is to clearly define what is acceptable and not acceptable dress within the code with the understanding that the code must accommodate an employee or applicant's religion, disability, or other protected class status.

Casual or business dress does not mean sloppy or unclean clothes, however.

Also, no matter an organization's dress code, I think it is always a smart move…a sign of respect…for applicants to dress formally for an interview or to dress appropriately for the job being interviewed for.

Leslie Zieren, Esq.

These surveyed employees may have calculated the cost of purchasing, laundering and/or dry cleaning more formal office attire (appropriate for every season and remaining in style) and determined that, over time, eliminating the expense of having to maintain such formal workplace attire would easily exceed $5,000.

You can answer our poll. Please note any comments provided may be shared with others.  

Finally, your opinion is important to us. Please complete the opinion survey: