The dilemma of the Christmas dress code

Many organisations choose to relax their dress code at this time of year, inviting casual dress and Christmas jumpers, especially on Christmas Jumper Day, which can help bring some fun into the office and can also be a way to raise money for charity.  But not everyone is thrilled with the idea!  A survey of over 2,000 employees who do not wear a formal uniform at work, reveals that not all welcome being allowed to wear their own clothes and that office dress codes, in general, can cause a range of difficulties. 

Over a third of those surveyed said they feel judged on what they wear and over a quarter struggle to find clothes suitable to wear in the office. Nearly a quarter also reported that they had received unwanted comments about their appearance at work. 

Given the seemingly high level of employee discomfort in relation to office dress codes, the announcement of a Christmas dress code, or Christmas Jumper Day, may not be welcomed by all.  Employers should, therefore, consider this and should be careful about the wording they use when making the announcement to staff, so as to ensure that it is made very clear that casual and Christmas dress is entirely optional.  It is also important to demonstrate  sensitivity towards employees who do not celebrate Christmas.

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