This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Nail-Painting Robot Coming
to a Salon Near You


  The Herman Trend Alert

October 1, 2003

Casual Dress Going Global

The American trend to dress---and act---more casually, more informally, in the workplace is gaining popularity around the world. While there are still many companies that expect employees to wear starched collars, business suits, and high heeled shoes, employers in other countries---notably European sectors known for their adherence to formality and protocol---are discovering measurable benefits to relaxing their dress codes.

Recent research by the Bank of Scotland discovered that a significant number of employers now operate with "dress down" policies. The United Kingdom-wide survey also discovered a third of small businesses with a newly introduced dress-down survey believed it has boosted productivity. Bank of Scotland researchers contacted 1,000 businesses across the UK and found that 20 percent of manufacturing companies and 27 percent of professional firms have dress down policies.

Improvements have been seen in all sizes of enterprises. The message is that people are happier when they are not required to wear formal attire, and that a happier workforce is a more productive workforce.

Around 23 percent of firms in the UK headed by women have more relaxed dress codes compared with 18 percent of firms managed by men, the study reported. This measure suggests that employees of firms headed by women may be happier in the broadest sense, driving productivity, workforce stability, and total performance. Perhaps we are seeing another indicator of the more sensitive leadership skills being attributed to women in senior positions, creating corporate cultures that are more congruent with what is desired by today's workers.

Our mode of dress has moved away from stereotypes that were prevalent for so long. It is now impossible to judge a person by his or her dress. An Indian man going to work in sandals and un-tucked short-sleeved shirt could well be a call-center worker or the richest textile merchant in Bombay (now called Mumbai).

Dress protocols often conflict with community culture. The trend today is to move to more individuality. People who have the courage to dress uniquely, also have the self-confidence to venture into new businesses, new ways of accomplishing work, new relationships.

© Copyright 1998- by The Herman Group, Inc. -- reproduction for publication is encouraged, with the following attribution: From "The Herman Trend Alert," by Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurist. 1.336.210.3548 or To sign up, visit The Herman Trend Alert is a trademark of The Herman Group, Inc."

Tomorrow morning, Joyce will be a Fireside Chat Speakers at the Brightside Business Women Empowerment Virtual Conference where she will talk about how business women can use the insights from her new, groundbreaking book, EXPERIENCE RULES, to be successful. Register for FREE at

Gain access to dozens of coaches for the same low price. Find out more by visiting

To listen to Joyce's TV shows on the radio, simply visit Joyce's show is streaming every day at 3:00PM Pacific Time.

To read this Herman Trend Alert on the web:

Herman Trend Alerts are produced by the Herman Group, strategic business futurists, Certified Management Consultants, authors, and professional speakers.

New subscribers are always welcome. There is no charge for this public service. The Herman Trend Alert is read by over 30,000 people in 90 countries, including other websites and printed periodicals. Click here to sign up for the Herman Trend Alert.

Do you enjoy receiving this weekly e-mail update? Contact us about our co-branded Herman Trend Alert service.

Subscribe or Unsubscribe to weekly Herman Trend Alert
View this week's Herman Trend Alert
Archived Weekly Herman Trend Alerts


[ Home About Products Resources Media ]


7112 Viridian Lane
Austin, TX 78739
Voice: 336-210-3548
Toll Free in US & Canada: 800-227-3566

  © The Herman Group. All rights reserved.

Web site design by WebEditor Design Services, Inc.