A Complete Guide To Workplace Attire Around The World

Casual Friday

Photo: MV Jantzen

What countries are obsessed with uniforms? What countries support Casual Friday? And what countries think it’s OK to wear a Speedo to an office party?Reuters and international market research firm Ipsos answered these questions and many more in last year’s “Proper Attire in the Workplace” survey, based on 12,691 recent interviews in 24 countries comprising 75% of the world’s GDP.

We took a look at the results and have shared the most interesting findings.

22% of U.S. workers wear some type of uniform every day, which is just below the international average of 26%

The most uniformed workers are in Hungary (40%), and the fewest are in South Korea (12%)

South Korea comes in second, at 47%; and China is a close third, at 46%. The U.S. is more aligned with the international average (37%)

38% of workers worldwide honour casual Fridays (or the equivalent)

Indonesians are the exception: 77% of the country sets aside a specific time for casual wear. India comes in second (71%), possibly because everyone is dressed smartly most of the time

45% of employees think that casual wear is good for productivity

The majority of Americans (55%) agree

Including 72% of Mexicans, 71% of Brazilians and 70% of Aussies. Americans are on the lower end of the survey, with 45% believing you need to wear a suit to work

Wearing shorts is a different thing -- only 24% agree that it's OK in the office

You could say weather has something to do with it -- Aussies nearly top the list with the highest approval rating (44%) -- but then that wouldn't explain Indonesians' strong disapproval (only 5% think it's OK)

Will casual dressers ever make it to senior management? 63% of workers say it's entirely possible

But it's no surprise that only 36% of Indians agree. The French are more divided; 55% think it's possible. The U.S. (at 62%) mirrors the worldwide consensus

A majority (56%) think that a speedo or bikini would be appropriate at a company beach party

Nearly all Argentinians (86%) and Spaniards (82%) agree.

Only 35% of Americans agree. The French are torn on this one (50%)

There's more agreement (66% around the world) on whether senior managers should dress nicer than their subordinates

And a closer look at the results

But sometimes, it just depends upon the office

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