Assessing the impact of uniforms on mental health
Uniform in the workplace generally has a positive impact on the mental health of employees. It promotes a sense of pride, belonging and self-assurance. It negates the concerns over what to wear and whether one’s own choice of attire will be suitable and meet with the approval of others in the work place.
Whilst not wearing uniform encourages individuality, it also can give rise to competition amongst employees and promote a feeling of low self-esteem for those who maybe do not either have the money or the sense of style to compete on a level playing field with their colleagues.
For many people, finding something suitable to wear each day can contribute to anxiety and increased stress levels, so having a uniform for work eliminates that pressure of finding the perfect outfit to wear each day.
By providing a uniform, the employer gives employee’s more disposable income to enjoy other pursuits, which can also help to improve mental health and well-being.
Uniforms, on the most part, enhance performance. The wearer feels part of a team and the wider organisation which gives them a feeling of self-worth, resulting in them feeling happier, more content and even more focused.
Safety concerns can also be addressed with a work uniform, with a number of garments designed specifically for the demands of the job. This can also apply to basic practicality issues of some garments, for instance, a skirt with a part elasticated waistband and a shirt made to a slightly longer length can ensure a garment remains tucked in, adding to the confidence of the wearer.
At Sugdens, we find our embroidery service is an extra effective way to promote a sense of pride and belonging. Wearers can have their names embroidered on workwear for extra personalisation. Of course, embroidered uniforms work well for the customer as well, who can then easily identify staff wearing the company colours and logo. This gives less stress and anxiety to customers, who can easily identify the person they should speak to should they require assistance.
Of course, nobody is suggesting that a work uniform is the miracle cure for the complex issue of poor mental health. But the role it plays in promoting pride, self-confidence and a feeling of belonging shouldn’t be underestimated. At the very least, having a uniform gives the wearer one less thing to think about before heading out to work.