Form or function? How to get the best of both worlds when designing a uniform
When it comes to the presentation of your business - and specifically the uniforms on the backs of your employees - appearance is crucial.
Not only does one’s appearance represent the person wearing the uniform, but also the business they work for, promote, and look to do good by. A business that is uniformed can provide a sense of cohesion, commonality and unity that otherwise might not be there.
Dressing to Impress
The importance of a uniform for the working professional is not to be underestimated. Take Fred, for example. Fred is going for an interview at ABC Industries. Fred doesn’t wear shorts, a T-shirt, and sandals because Fred is smart and knows that wouldn't make a good first impression for ABC Industries.
Instead, and this will come as no surprise, Fred wears a nice button shirt, a pair of dress pants, and black leather shoes proudly polished by Fred himself the night before. Although this may not be typical day-to-day uniform, it’s still how Fred represents himself in a professional manner, and in turn, Fred’s uniform for this point in time. Good work, Fred.
The same logic applies once Fred has landed the job at ABC Industries (again, nice work, Fred) - he wears what he believes is the appropriate attire for his field of work, dresses to impress and always has a smile. His uniform of choice represents his values, work ethic, and motivation - just as it represents the best qualities of ABC Industries.
When to Bring in a Uniform Policy
To flip this point of view away from the employee to the employer, one might ask “Why would an employer decide to bring in a uniform policy?” Are there any benefits to doing so?
To start with, a uniform has the potential to increase team morale. Bringing a uniform into the workplace that is not only appealing, but also enjoyable to wear shows that you care for your employees well-being and comfort.
A well-fitted, and high-quality uniform can bolster employee’s self-esteem, attitude, and morale, helping to increase their motivation to complete day-to-day jobs to a high standard.
To further that, a team is only as strong as its weakest member, and if one member of a team is feeling isolated, unmotivated or feeling any sense of bitterness towards any part of their day-to-day work, this can be detrimental to your business.
Companies that have utilised a uniform policy, where all employees are wearing the same uniform, creates an even playing field, and is great first step to creating the team spirit you’re looking for. Creating commonality between employees is a perfect way to strip down barriers and include everyone.
Finding a Balance
You may be sitting there and thinking, “Yes, I want to bring a uniform into my work, but how do I find the right balance in a uniform?” Great question and we're glad you asked.
Taking the first step into creating a uniform is not an easy one.
First of all, it needs to keep a professional look and feel.
Secondly, it needs to be comfortable enough for employees to wear multiple days of the week while keeping its durability. Trying to cut down on costs at the expense of quality probably isn’t a good idea as employee uniforms will receive a lot of wear and tear.
Lastly, it has to be look good enough that your employees aren’t going to feel like they’re committing a fashion crime.
What to Prioritise - Form or Function?
If your team are customer/client facing, the answer is form.
As the saying goes, you only get one chance to make a good first impression. When you first meet a person, he or she makes a judgment about you in approximately four seconds, and this judgment is finalised largely within 30 seconds of the initial contact, so you want to make the most of this opportunity.
Picking a suitable colour is the best place to start - think colours that best reflect your industry, colours you wouldn’t mind seeing if you were being served in a cafe or restaurant, or talking to your lawyer or accountant.
Once you’ve settled on a design, find the best suitable materials for the job. There’s no point in investing in cheap uniforms if you’re employees are going to come back in three month's time asking for a new set.
Investing in good clothing is investing in your employees.
If you’re still feeling a little lost when it comes to designing your next uniform, talk to us! Arrow Uniforms makes quality uniforms and clothes inspired by ideas from all over the globe.
We craft practical garments that look great, fit well and are cared for easily. Get in touch with us here, or download the free design guide and start designing the right uniform for your business today.