How Casual at Work Is Too Casual?


Casual Fridays was a tradition with origins in Hawaii that went mainstream throughout American offices through the 1980’s and became entrenched by the end of the ‘90’s. Twenty years later, with Gen Z entering the workforce and millennials comprising the largest generation of staff, offices have come to accept greater familiarity among workers and have relaxed standards of appropriate office protocols. Business strategist Mark Fenner says the head office has to set the standard, and has to take into account who they want to attract. “The war for talent is over and talent has won. Companies have got to attract employees that fit their employee brand, and so what I’m advising my clients to do is declare a brand.”

According to Udemy's 2019 Workplace Boundaries Report, which polled more than 1,000 U.S. office workers:

Two-thirds say coworkers shouldn't be allowed to bring pets to work

62 percent say kids shouldn't be brought into the office

52 percent say hugs should not be given in a professional setting, and 31 percent have received an unwelcome hug at work

63 percent have their social media profiles set to private to avoid being followed by coworkers, and 46 percent feel pressure to accept a coworker's friend request

63 percent believe workout or athleisure clothing should not be worn in the office

53 percent said they feel uncomfortable when coworkers gossip too much

37 percent say coworkers are too informal on workplace chat platforms


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