Many jobs have uniforms to help identify their job position in the workplace. Uniforms are also highly functional, allowing workers to carry all the tools they need to perform their job. However, dress codes can mean restrictive, uncomfortable clothing like suits, ties or stockings in many industries. While workplace fashion may seem like a minor detail, wearing comfortable clothes while working has several benefits and can significantly impact your day-to-day life. For example, all nurses should work in comfortable scrubs. A good set of men’s or women’s scrubs can make the difference between a long work day that drags on and a productive day where patients are helped and work is accomplished. Check out these eight benefits of wearing comfortable clothes at work.
Staying cool and comfortable is critical on physically intensive work days. Wearing clothes that keep you warm when the temperatures are cold and cool when the weather is hot is crucial. It is also important to have clothes that wick away sweat. This helps prevent discomfort and keeps you fresh throughout the day.
Many industries, including healthcare, construction and manufacturing, require workers to wear PPE for safety and disease transmission control. PPE is often hot and uncomfortable, but choosing elements of your outfit that are more comfortable can be beneficial. Consider underlayers made of polyester, polypropylene or merino wool and high-quality scrubs pants to keep you comfortable whether you’re working in the ward, at the job site or on the factory floor.
Throughout the work day, clothes can rub against sensitive areas of the skin and cause irritation. This is due to your skin reacting to the materials, chemical treatments, dyes and leftover detergent residue. Purchasing clothes made of high-quality materials like linen, cotton or high-performance polyester blends with a loose, tailored cut can help avoid much of this discomfort. You should also wash your garments according to the manufacturer’s directions. Using too much detergent or fabric softener can cause the fabrics to become coarse and hard, especially along areas like seams and hemlines, increasing the risk of skin irritation.
Ease of Movement
Comfortable clothes allow you greater freedom of movement. Any restrictive garments that bunch up could quickly become uncomfortable or restrict your movements, preventing you from performing your job correctly. Purchase clothes that give you a full range of motion, with wide sleeves, a V-neck, side vents and a loose fit using stretch dobby fabric around the torso and legs. Also, choose clothes with elastic bands around the waist and cuffs because this gives you both flexibility and a secure fit.
If you work in an office that allows casual dress, wearing comfortable clothes that offer ease of movement like athletic wear can also encourage you to be more active during your lunch break or after work. Promoting a healthier workforce through regular physical activity has been shown to improve employee productivity and performance and reduce sick days and employee turnover.
Accessibility and Utility
Clothes are more than just a good fit; they need to be practical. You need easily accessible pockets in handy locations. Choose the right number of both interior and exterior pockets for the number of materials and accessories you need to carry during the work day. Consider extras that make clothes even more useful. Grommets for headphones, bungee loops, key loops and zippered pockets for extra security can become useful throughout your day and make your outfit more comfortable.
Get More Work Done
Since the beginning of the pandemic, there has been an increased interest in how comfortable clothes might affect work output. Studies have shown that people who wear comfortable clothes work harder, report less distraction and work more efficiently. They’ve even found that comfortable clothes can help people do better on exams. Comfortable clothes also give workers a sense of confidence and competence. Comfortable clothes can foster better relationships between workers, as people feel more approachable and casual in comfy clothes and are more likely to react to situations in a friendly way.
Reduce Stress Levels
The uncertain times of the early 2020s have led to a new trend in both psychology and fashion called Dopamine Dressing. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter in your brain that regulates your happiness, pleasure and mental alertness. Dopamine Dressing is the practice of dressing to stimulate dopamine production in your brain’s hypothalamus and your kidney’s adrenal glands.
Wearing comfortable clothes that make you feel secure can help promote dopamine production, which lowers stress levels and makes you feel more content and happy.
Studies have shown the existence of a phenomenon called Enclothed Cognition. This documented psychological effect happens when you wear clothes associated with your job, like a nurse’s scrub top, lab coats for doctors or even red shoes for athletes. These clothes lead to better focus, better abstract thinking and longer attention spans. Wearing clothes associated with your job can have a transformative effect and put you in a better state of mind for your job. Comfortable clothes have been shown to increase this effect, as there is a feeling of relaxed assured competence while wearing comfortable, work-specific clothes.
Increased Job Satisfaction
Workers who wear comfortable clothes often report greater job satisfaction. While it is obvious that people would prefer comfortable clothes to a uniform that is stiff and made of rough fabric, psychologists have found that workers have more respect for management and a higher opinion of their job when they are allowed to choose comfortable clothes.
One survey demonstrated that before the quarantine, one third of all workers in the United States would prefer to wear comfortable clothes instead of a $5,000 annual bonus. During the quarantine, a survey showed that 75% of American workers who responded switched to wearing comfy loungewear while working at home. Wearing clothes that make you feel comfortable can often mean the difference between a job you love and one you dislike.
Comfortable Clothes Make Sense
There are numerous advantages to wearing comfortable clothes at work for every job, from construction workers to nurses. A wardrobe filled with comfortable staples from scrubs to stretch pants to soft cotton t-shirts can improve your focus and help you be more productive.