Are there any studies on whether a dress code is beneficial to any/some companies, as opposed to just adopting "casual Fridays" all week long?
As chad said the term beneficial is fairly broad, however I'll take t to assume you mean beneficial in the sense your employees are happier and hence more productive and hence provide greater benefit to the company in regards to their output => money value.
I'm not aware of any studies (I'm sure there are some though) but it would be my opinion that different professions have the impression of requiring different levels of dress. For example if I saw a group of of lawyers in the office wearing shorts and shirts my first impressions might be one of un-professionalism. However if I saw a builder coming to work in their sunday best I might be a bit concerned.
Basically to some degree society has dictated our dress sense in the work place. However I've always worked best when I could wear what I felt comfortable at the time and felt like I had the support of the company to make the right decision if I had to dress more approprietly i.e. meeting a customer for an important business deal and they wear suits to work.
I've never really been a fan of dress down fridays. I've preferred a fairly loose dress standard all week with the emphasis put on the employee to ensure they dress appropietly. I guess there would be a certain standard but it would be flexible enough to cover those who enjoy wearing jeans to work over those who enjoy wearing dress pants and suit etc
In summary. I believe dress standards can have an effect on performance if people dress casual then they relate that into working casual. However it can also be determined on society expectations as well as the individual. Dressing casual (or smart) just might be one way to get the best out of the team and help develop the kind of work atmosphere your looking for.
Well, casual Fridays all week would mean they aren't casual any more, right?
Most companies, depending on the type of services they provide, need some sort of dress code to appease customers.
In a suit and tie environment, casual Fridays may be casual but still implies some sort of dress code, e.g. no shorts and flip flops. It gives the folks a chance to relax a bit (especially for the women I think) but doesn't really significantly degrade the overall impression that a customer might get.
If all days were casual days, I think the variance between what is acceptable and what is not rapidly gets out of hand because there is no longer any "standard" and humans being what we are will gradually "down-dress" until management eventually gets pissed off and steps in anyway. Only difference is by that time, egos get bruised.
Well it depends on the following points -
- which kind of business you are in
- do your employees contact the customer face-to-face or not
- What kind of corporate culture is in your company (such as more formal, less formal, average etc.)
There can be more points added to the above list. If you are in service industry and your employees meets the customer frequently such as in banking and finance industry, a strict dress-code is must (Can be relaxed a bit for operations and processing guys). Generally in IT industry dress codes are more relaxed(Not for Business development guys).
So until unless we have a subject industry, we can not say whether it's beneficial or not to have a dress-code in our company.