How casual should we take casual Fridays?

Avoid the awkward conversations by adopting guidelines around “casual Friday”

Don’t take casual Fridays too casually

Oh no! It’s casual day!

Don’t we all love casual Fridays?!  It creates the perfect relaxed office atmosphere as we all look forward to the weekend.  But how casual is casual day?  There may be some uncertainty for employers and employees alike around what is deemed appropriate attire.  Trying to find the ideal balance between professional, stylish and comfortable can be challenging.

What is casual day?

Casual day originated in Hawaii in the 1940’s when workers were permitted to wear Aloha shirts for a certain part of the year.  This progressed in America in the 1960’s when workers were given the opportunity to wear Aloha shirts each Friday to promote the message that there can be fun in the workplace.  Casual Friday is widely adopted by workplaces to boost staff morale and create a more laid-back environment for the day. It can also be used as an opportunity to support your organisation’s chosen charity by collecting gold coin donations from your team.

But how casual is casual day?

As an employer, it is important that you make your casual day guidelines clear.  Your employees are still representing your business and, depending on your line of work, it is best to keep a professional front. 

Too much freedom can create a lack of common sense. The last thing you want to see in the boardroom is short shorts, crop tops, ripped jeans and leggings.

As an employee, it is important to have an understanding of your workplace guidelines when it comes to casual day so you don’t get caught out.  Most uniforms are plain and generally black or grey so even just adding some colour or patterns can be enough to brighten any workplace.

Casual day does not mean create a casual approach.

Despite the ‘green light’ to wear casual clothes; it should not come at the cost of your team’s daily responsibilities and work ethic. It is still more than likely that you will be seeing clients or meeting with management.

Dressing the part is an important signal to others that you are responsible and that you take your role seriously. 

Although this may all sound like common sense, setting clear guidelines and policies for casual day can remove the need for awkward conversations.

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