An increasing number of British offices have now introduced the concept of ‘casual Fridays’, where employees are not only allowed to spend the working day in more relaxed attire, they are also encouraged to either spend lunchtimes or after work at the pub with colleagues and even allowed to drink in the office some Friday afternoons.

Staff retention?

Staff retention?

This laidback attitude to Fridays has caused some debate amongst the UK business community, with many favouring it as a positive step towards making a workplace a more enjoyable place to be, and others arguing that it can lead to end-of-the-week laziness and a potential loss in company earnings.

Staff motivation

Whilst such incentives as promotions and salary increases are still the most productive way to increase motivation amongst employees, it is only so often these can realistically be put into action. Therefore, motivating staff through such perks as being able to dress casually each Friday and encouraging a lunchtime group trip to the pub, will hopefully help to operate a loyalty to the company and motivate staff to work harder and strive to achieve more for reasons other than their own financial gain.

Staff retention

Operating a laidback and relaxed atmosphere amongst office workers will no doubt allow for friendships to form and bonding to take place amongst individuals who may not have typically needed to interact for whatever reason (different floors/departments/shift patterns etc…)

Being able to call co-workers true friends is something that many employees will rate as one of the biggest positives for working in a company. A casual working environment therefore brings with it a much more likely chance that workers will want to remain employed within a position, rather than risk moving to a new role where relationships won’t be as strong or meaningful to them.

Productivity levels

Everyone has goals they like to focus on when setting themselves out on a particularly tricky challenge. Taking this into account, knowing that the end of the week will bring with it the reward of casual Friday will no doubt give office workers a reason to be as productive as possible during the Monday-Thursday shifts to reap the benefits associated with it.

Rewarding achievements

Some office managers and bosses may only decide to implement casual Fridays based on an offices performance and if the members of staff hit pre-set goals for the week or month. This method of rewarding good work can prove to help further motivate staff and ensure that they are all working equally hard to enjoy something as a team.

Confusion on where to draw the line

One potential drawback of introducing a casual dress code for staff on Fridays is that some workers might not necessarily understand their company’s definition of ‘casual’. Strolling into the office wearing overly revealing items of clothing, shorts and flip-flops or something that more closely resemble a pair of pyjamas than appropriate work attire will certainly cause doubts amongst some managers.

Giving the wrong impression

Despite many office workers assuming Friday to be the most laidback and casual day weekday, ultimately it is still equally as important as any other, but this might not always be reflected if workers are in a ‘Friday state of mind’ at the end of each week. For example, if potential new clients or business associates are visiting an office on a Friday, the impression they get from team might not be as positive as if they’d visited on a Tuesday or Wednesday.

Employees taking advantage

Casual Fridays always pose the danger of employees taking their bosses generosity for granted, or even manipulating their good nature for personal gain. Members of staff should not take the implementation of casual Fridays as an excuse to take a two-hour lunch break, get drunk during working hours or leave the office at 3pm when they are contractually obliged to stay and work until 2 hours after that.

Written by Gareth Jones, expert spokesperson for Kit Out My Office

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