25% of people think tattoos at work are unacceptable

A new survey has found that a quarter of people think tattoos at work are unacceptable, along with flip flops and sportswear.

A quarter of workers (25%) in the UK think tattoos at work are unacceptable, and that number rises to nearly half (42%) who think they’re unacceptable for directors or owners, according to a new survey.

Tattoos and piercings are a no for a quarter of workers

The survey of 1,000 people by online metals and workwear retailer, metals4U, also found that almost a quarter (24%) believing piercings should be removed during working hours.

More findings from the survey found that workers don’t want to see these things in the workplace:

  • Flip flops (49%)
  • Sportswear (40%)
  • Trainers (39%)
  • Shorts (35%)
Dress codes make people put in more effort

Many people like dress codes. Fifty-six per cent say having a dress code forces them to make more of an effort for work. Also, smaller numbers (10%) think men should be required to wear full suits at work, including more than a quarter of directors (26%), finance workers (30%), and HR professionals (29%).

The survey also asked about uniforms and found that 55% say wearing one makes them feel like part of the team and 57% say it allows them to be more representative of their business. Still, a majority of survey respondents (57%) would prefer not to wear a uniform, given a choice.

Nearly a third would quit their job for a more casual dress code

The numbers of those who prefer more formal dress codes are lower than those in a survey of Canadians which found that 49% of men and 25% of women prefer formal attire. Those ages 18-34 showed the greatest preference for formal dress codes.

Confusing? Maybe a little. And if somewhere between a quarter and a third want to keep it conservative, the same number would go to great lengths to keep it casual. A recent survey by Randstad US found 33% of people across all types of industries would turn down a job or quit their current job if they were required to follow a conservative dress code. The same number would also give up $5,000 in salary to work for a company with an informal dress code.

That survey also found that:

  • 73% think that ripped jeans and 56% think that leggings are not appropriate workwear, even in a business casual setting.
  • 50% think that heels higher than three inches look unprofessional.
  • 40% think that open-toed shoes of any kind look unprofessional.

While some of this may be obvious, it’s good to keep it in mind, particularly when dressing for the job interview. We recommend you always err on the side of formality when unsure.

Tattoos may affect your chance of getting a job

When it comes to tattoos, a 2014 poll of 327 employers conducted by me and a colleague found that, while about 23% of hiring managers say that a candidate having a tattoo would not affect their hiring decision, almost 14% would be less likely to hire someone with a tattoo. Thirty-five per cent said it would depend on the role they were trying to fill and 28% said it would depend on how many tattoos the candidate had and where they were.

A 2012 survey by IPSOS found that 22% of Canadians have ink somewhere on their body.

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