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IT staff get stressed over workwear choices, says report

by Mark Tyson on 21 December 2017, 14:01

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As many HEXUS readers work in information technology, I thought I would share an interesting report regarding IT staff workwear, sent to HEXUS by TotalJobs.com. It might be surprising to some, especially those who work in other fields, but workwear is a major bugbear for IT staff. Some of the highlighted problems faced by the IT workers include; an ambiguous workwear policy for the IT department, unwanted comments on workwear by other members of staff, and the expense of buying ‘appropriate’ clothing.

Key findings of the TotalJobs commissioned research into IT staff workwear are as follows:

  • I.T staff spend £30,456 on clothes to wear for work over the course of their careers
  • I.T staff spend five months of their life thinking about what to wear for work
  • Two-thirds (63%) find it difficult choosing what to wear for work – 1 in 3 say it leads to stressful decisions
  • 1 in 3 (32%) have received unwanted comments about their appearance at work
  • 1 in 4 (24%) feel pressure to dress a certain way because of company culture – 24% feel pressure from their managers
  • 13% feel there is a lack of clarity about company dress code
  • 12% have no idea what management want them to wear

It seems like many of the above issues come from a disconnect between the IT staff and other company departments. The lack of clarity, or uncertainty, is a source of unnecessary stress and pressure. In some ways it is probably the blurring of lines about whether IT is office or manual work, white collar or blue collar, that is the issue.

It would be interesting to hear HEXUS forum member anecdotes about workwear issues at their places of work, if any.

HEXUS Forums :: 32 Comments

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I don't get stressed about it. I wear what I want within the guidelines of the company I'm working for at the time.

Only one thing I refuse to wear and that's a tie. Mainly because I haven't worn a tie for years, since an EU directive came in saying you couldn't make employees wear one.

There's also stuff about the tie being a symbol of the employee's subservience to their employer, like a leash thing, but I only trot that out when people mention me not wearing one. Me wearing a tie wouldn't make me any better at doing my job, in fact it would be a hindrance.
Sounds like it's a slow day at Clickbait Distribution Network Inc….. #FirstWorldProblems #GirlyProblems #WhatToWear

Most of the country will have you wear shirt and tie, especially post-Brexit.
We're supposed to, but most of the Engineers just wear polo shirts and slacks, chinos or some weird corduroy cargo pants type stuff, usually with shoes any colour other than black.

I'm supposed to as well, but since lazing around in my bike leathers was frowned upon, I resorted to wearing company branded field kit… which is basically blue polo shirt and cargos, with black leather combat boots (which is the only type of footwear I have owned since I was 13).
Last place I used to work was just a pit of coders wearing mostly jeans/t-shirt. I didn't mind it but did feel slobbish.

I work for a bigger company now, nice shirt, trousers, cufflinks, occasional tie - didn't cost a fortune but I feel like I'm making a good impression, and the only stress I have is if I haven't ironed my shirt the night before.

Dress down Fridays, seems fairly standard.
I dont work in IT, I work in broadcast. Quite rare to have any kind of uniform.
Cusotomer facing - wear a tie. Not facing customers - no tie. Doing manual work - overalls or other equivalent. Self employed - whatever you want so long as it doesn't lose you business.

Or follow company policy if available.

Pointless drama is pointless.

That said I once worked for a company, not IT, who had it passed down from on high via my manager about the length of my hair (when I had hair ffs..). I asked if a similar comment had been passed on to any of the female staff and heard nothing more about it again.

This sounds more like a way for that jobsite just to get their name mentioned.