The Worst Summer Workwear Offense Is...

summer work wearAs 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."

Next: How to Get Your Company to Relax the Dress Code



Don't Miss: Top 10 Companies Hiring Now


Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell

Editor

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.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

24 Comments

Filter by:
obadiahno1

shorts are never to be worn at the work place the clint has a lower feeling about a person in shorts when i was in the insurance i never wore anything but a suit ,hot or cold , if someone came to my door trying to sell me anything ( in shorts i0 HE WOULD NEVER GET IN THE DOOR.

July 26 2011 at 3:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jbray2325

How abour going to church decent. No shorts and wearing a pair of shoes? Not looking like
your are going to a picnic or beach? I have seen this at church.....

July 25 2011 at 3:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
spdaneed

When the "casual corporate" way of dressing came into being it was a nice benefit for hard working people. It was good for a short while and then abuses began. I recall going to an abstracting company for a refinancing action. When we first got there there was a receptionist, neatly dressed, on top of her job, and totally customer oriented. She asked if we wanted coffee or anything and that our contact would be out shortly. When it took too much time, she went and prompted the person.

Our next visit was on a Friday. The same woman was there behing her desk staring off into space. As we walked in she looked at us and then went back to her other activity - nothing. I noticed she was in jeans and a sweatshirt that read "I'm not fat, I'm fluffy." She ignored us until we forced the issue and then got mad. We finally go through with it but what a change.

I noticed the same thing in many other places and summarized that even though the clothes don't make the person, the way they dress WILL tell you a lot about their attitude on the day. This article is a little more proof of how things continue to degrade in the American corporation. Flip flops in an office? Who but a clod would even consider it? It may be a casual environment but that doesn't involve sloppy. The article also says the input during the summer decreases? Why? Maybe if a person goes on vacation and there is no one to cover for them, but if the business is viable, that shouldn't happen.

We are in a huge recession, many people have no jobs and these clowns are demanding to behave like high school seniors on the last day of the year? That is disgusting to me. Grow up you punks. Our companies and our nation didn't get powerful by making demands. They did it by turning out products. Grow up.

July 19 2011 at 7:11 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Ava

It is actually illegal to expose your feet according to health code Some people's feet stink. I work in an office that is disgusting. People wear halters, flip flops, any old thing. And it is a government office with supposedly dress codes. No one says a word...

July 19 2011 at 6:47 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
fernandezcrlgbls

Most women that play soccer are lesbians.

July 19 2011 at 6:44 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to fernandezcrlgbls's comment
kathleennovak

Did you rreally just say that????

July 19 2011 at 7:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
pasoccer1

There is a difference between flip flops and dressy leather sandals that just happen to have a thong between the toes. I understand that rubber flip flops are not proper work shoes, but I see nothing wrong with nice dress sandals. My employer made an across the board statement for dress code, no sandals with thong between the toes. It's ok to wear rubber soccer shoes, but not nice leather dress sandals because the have a thong. Just stupid.

July 19 2011 at 5:56 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to pasoccer1's comment
fernandezcrlgbls

men that wear sandals look so gay.

July 19 2011 at 6:43 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
HANK

Ther is no such thing as a nice sandles. Your discusting feet should be covered when at work.

July 19 2011 at 6:59 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
fbui7df

Flip flops belong on the beach or in your own home not in public. no one likes to hears those stupid things scuffing along as you walk.

July 19 2011 at 5:45 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to fbui7df's comment
Tammy

Perhaps you don't know how to walk in them. I wear them shopping etc and they make no noise at all when I walk. I wear no shoes inside my home, summer or winter but wear flip flops everywhere in the summer unless I am going someplace where they are inappropriate. Wear what you want but do not dictate to others.

July 19 2011 at 6:12 PM Report abuse -6 rate up rate down Reply
bunnydnb3

The worst dressed women in our workplace are the mexicans. They dress like skanks and ho's wearing way too tight of clothing even thought trhey have fat rolls bulging out everywhere. Some even wear pajama pants to work. They smell as bad as they look with all their cheap perfume and gawdy make-up.

July 19 2011 at 5:36 PM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
dlitt69803

If the dress code is professional business casual, it should mean no flip flops, tank tops, bare midriffs, and undergarments showing. Sadly, some people do not understand the meaning of professional business, even in the face of direct written guidelines stating what is and is not acceptable attire. It's embarrassing to be sitting across the conference table from a woman who is trying to impress with her knowledge but whose cleavage leaves little to the imagination or has such tight clothing on that the muffin top is more bundt cake. Personally, I prefer office attire to not include business casual, professional business casual, or casual Friday references because it's confusing and becomes an individual definition as to what is acceptable. More often than not, people push it to the extreme.

July 19 2011 at 5:14 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
caroledelm

When I started working in the 50s, some offices didn't even have air conditioning. Every office has it now. No excuses for flip flops, tank tops & other revealing clothes. Comfort isn't a reason for sloppiness. If you hope to advance your career ($$$), show some respect for your environment.

July 19 2011 at 4:42 PM Report abuse +8 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to caroledelm's comment
ohwhen

I hear more complaints in the summer of offices being so cold from AC that the employees dress warmer than they would in winter.

Especially in medical offices...

July 19 2011 at 6:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Search Jobs

In Partnership With
Keywords:
Location:

Search Articles

Top Companies Hiring

April 13 - April 20

Looking for work? See what companies added new openings this week.