T-shirts are now more popular than suits for work

l-r: Roy (Chris O'Dowd), Jen (Katherine Parkinson)
l-r: Roy (Chris O'Dowd), Jen (Katherine Parkinson)
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Standards are slipping for British office workers who are swapping suits for T-shirts – and spending less time getting ready for work.

According to new research, less than a fifth of people said they would still wear a suit for work, suggesting that casual clothes are becoming the new office wear as employees embrace comfier alternatives.

Wearing casual clothes in the workplace can make people feel more comfortable and thereby increase the productivity and creativity of your staff

Catherine Bannan

A survey of 2,000 office workers revealed that Brits are only spending a meagre 23 minutes a day on their appearance, with one in five spending less than ten minutes getting ready.

The North East are leading the way for casual wear, with almost half of people opting for a t-shirt or polo shirt instead of traditional shirts or blouses, while those in the North West are sticking with the formal attire – with a third still donning a suit. The average North West workers work wardrobe costs £394.63.

Alongside slacking dress codes, workers are spending less time laundering – with one in six happy to wear the same shirt all week.

Extraordinarily, a whopping 42% of people claimed to sometimes not wear underwear to work, and 53% of us occasionally don’t bother with socks, revealed the study by Printerland.co.uk.

Despite many not putting the effort into their appearance, those surveyed still disapproved of their colleague’s outfits, with 82% saying Ugg boots were inappropriate office wear.

A shocking 27% of respondents deemed make-up completely unacceptable at work and almost half said that high heels are a big no-no and that beards should be banned.

Catherine Bannan, HR Manager at Printerland.co.uk said: “Wearing casual clothes in the workplace can make people feel more comfortable and thereby increase the productivity and creativity of your staff.

“Offices are taking a much more relaxed approach to work attire these days and some say that being in clothes we find comfortable can spark our imagination. Obviously, you might have a meeting with some important clients and so you would want to dress appropriately for that.”

The survey also found that bosses in Northern Ireland are the strictest when it comes to tattoos and piercings, with over a third of employees told to cover up in the office. However, the Welsh are the most relaxed, with 57% of staff allowed to show piercings and body art.

Despite spending less time and effort on their appearance, Brits still splash out an average of £397 on their work wardrobe, with the over 55s deemed the biggest spenders.

Most unacceptable items to wear in the office

Crop tops

Casual headwear (e.g. baseball cap)

Jeans with holes

Shorts

Flip-flops

Low cut tops

Ugg boots

Short skirts

Trainers

Tight dress

Leggings

Sleeveless tops

High heels

Beards

Make-up