How uniforms benefit business
Think of some of the most successful business people in the world and you’ll notice that they have one thing in common - a self imposed uniform.
Steve Jobs had the black turtleneck; during his Presidency Obama whittled down his closet to consist of only black and grey suits; even Albert Einstein is reported to have bought multiples of the same grey suit to wear everyday.
And there is method to this uniform madness. The theory is that wearing a set outfit everyday cuts down on unnecessary decision making, freeing up brain power for other more important tasks.
In an interview with Vanity Fair in 2012 Obama explained his utilitarian wardrobe stating: “I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. I have too many other decisions to make.”
In fact, using uniforms in your workplace could provide a number of benefits including:
Having an easily recognisable uniform, preferably with some sort of logo or branding visible on the garments, will increase the probability that consumers will remember your business. Strong branding on uniforms can also serve as a successful means of advertising.
Dressing your employees in uniforms as opposed to casual clothes means that they are more likely to be seen by consumers as having knowledge and authority. Customers believing in the authority of your staff will increase employees confidence in their ability, making them more productive.
Furthermore, if staff like their uniform they are more likely to take pride in their appearance, thus presenting a good image for the company.
When employees are dressed in uniform it’s easier for customers to seek them out when needing assistance. Quick, easy and accessible customer service means that customers are likely to return to your business and develop a sense of loyalty.
For industries that carry risks, uniforms can deliver functional benefits. For example, high-visibility uniforms and hard hats protect workers from potentially deadly situations.
Employee unity and equality
Uniforms help to create a sense of solidarity and belonging among employees, developing an atmosphere where teamwork is valued and performance ultimately improves. Uniforms can also help to break down the barriers of hierarchy and foster a sense of togetherness.
Using uniforms helps to remove the socio-economic component of clothing, meaning employees aren’t evaluated based on outward appearance, rather they are judged on their work ethic and performance.
Both dress code policies and uniforms are used not only to present a good image of the business but also to help people transition into the working frame of mind. Over relaxed or casual dress codes are often reflected in employee performance. Indeed, a study published in the Scientific American found that those who dressed in a formal manner performed better in tasks than those wearing casual clothes.
Stylish uniforms emblazoned with a clear logo can serve as an effective marketing tool for your business. According to a study conducted at Suffolk University, 56.1% of respondents said that uniforms were more effective than internet advertising and 73.5% found them more effective than TV advertising. This is a huge return on a relatively small investment.