As the high heel debate rages on across the UK, the team here at BrightHR has been discussing dressing for work, which is a subject we recently conducted research on to gauge the UK’s attitude to the topic.

Following news of a woman being sent home from work at PwC in London without pay for refusing to wear high heels, the team at Stylist magazine had their male staff members wear heels for a full day to highlight the how ludicrous it is that in the UK it is legal to make women wear heels to work.

Surprisingly, our research showed that workers in the UK place a high value on appearance in the workplace, ranking being well-dressed in the office as more important than getting the job done. Over 45 per cent of working men and women argued it was important to look good in the office to remain on top.

However on the other end of the scale, the research revealed that employees were twice as likely to judge someone on their appearance rather than their work ethic. 

The importance millennials placed on how people dressed was nearly 15 per cent higher than their peers over the age of 50 (38 per cent).

At BrightHR we have a ‘no tie policy’ and the team is encouraged to come to work feeling professional but comfortable in their own clothes, feeling pressured into dressing a certain way or in a specific type of shoe just wouldn't happen here. Our co-founders have a modern approach to management, placing a firm emphasis on leadership from the top, so the relaxed approach to workplace attire is set by our senior management. 

The team is empowered and trusted to know what to wear for different occasions. The emphasis is away from ‘dress code’ and focussed more on what works best for each individual in the business to drive productivity and creativity. This approach has been a big success for us and we would encourage other companies to follow suit.