The Worst Summer Workwear Offense Is...
As the temperature goes up, dress codes, productivity, attendance -- you name it -- often go down in the workplace. Everyone pretty much accepts the fact that most attitudes are a little more relaxed during the summer, but recent research about summertime workplace trends revealed interesting facts about work, play and what to wear.
The Adecco survey asked what managers feel is the biggest fashion faux pas when it comes to work wear. Surprisingly enough, it wasn't miniskirts, strapless tops or halter dresses, but -- wait for it -- a full 71 percent of those surveyed cited flip-flops as the worst offenders.
"The summer months can get hot, but it's important to present yourself in a professional manner no matter what time of year it is," says Joyce Russell, EVP and president of Adecco Staffing USA. "If you have a long commute, wear your flip-flops for the trip in and out of the office, but change into a pair of dress shoes you keep at the office. This way you remain comfortable in the heat without giving the impression that your mind is on the beach."
And speaking of dress codes, the Adecco survey found that Casual Fridays are no big deal anymore. What employees really want are "Summer Fridays," with reduced hours. Only 42 percent chose wardrobe flexibility as a much desired perk, compared to 60 percent who listed flex time, like that in the Summer Friday trend.
Flex time seems to be the most desired perk across the board -- employees say they'd much rather have the time off than be forced to attend a summer office party -- especially one held on the weekend when they wouldn't normally have to associate with their co-workers. Only 22 percent of Americans list workplace-organized summer parties as one of the three work benefits/perks they would most want during the summer.
The majority of those surveyed preferred time away from their colleagues: Following flex time, 53 percent said that they'd want extra vacation days and 48 percent said they'd want the flexibility to work from home.
"Many employees spend more time with their co-workers than their families -- especially in today's economic climate, says Russell. "This summer, we're seeing Americans draw a bit of a line on work and life; our survey indicates that workers today who have the option to preserve their off-the-clock time for themselves or mingle with their co-workers at an after-hours office party, opt for the time off."
At least American workers are not all about getting away in the summer. Perhaps it reverts back to relaxed dress codes and showing more skin, but those surveyed say that they're more health conscious during the warmer months. Nearly eight out of 10 (78 percent) report that they have tried to eat healthier at work during the summer. Additionally, over half (57 percent) of Americans are using their lunch break to go for walks and 49 percent go to the gym before or after work during the summer months.
"The last few years have been tough on many employees with many needing to work longer days and not having enough time to focus on their health and fitness, Russell notes. "This summer we're seeing a bit of a shift in the way employees are looking at their work and their life. They seem to be signaling that they are a bit more comfortable leaving on time, taking time off and even using their lunch breaks for themselves, with many eating healthier and getting in a quick workout at the gym."
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Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award-winning multi-media journalist and author of Career Comeback--Repackage Yourself to Get the Job You Want. Her work has been translated into 20 different languages, and she is a frequent expert guest and commentator on news and talk shows. She has been featured in The Wall St. Journal, on the CBS Early Show, NBC Today, CNBC, Fox Business News, Dr. Phil, Oprah.com and many other media outlets. Lisa discusses her AOL pieces each week and interviews vital guests on the web TV show, This Week in Careers. Learn more on LisaJohnsonMandell.com.