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How are nonverbal signals sent by casual dress in the workplace?

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How are nonverbal signals sent by casual dress in the workplace?
Business Communication
Apr 11, 2005

How are nonverbal signals sent by casual dress in the workplace?
The phenomenon of casual dress in the business place has come full circle. Many companies are now moving away from casual dress. Many business leaders have come to realize that the nonverbal signals sent by casual dress, conflict with the image the company is attempting to portray. A trend that was seeing more and more companies opting for casual dress, now has companies considering a complete withdraw from this popular business fashion. Companies will need to completely overhaul their dress codes if casual dress is to survive.
The History
The concept of business casual
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Negative Perceptions
Even though there are positive outcomes to a casual dress program, there are negative perceptions by all those involved; employers, employees and customers. The nonverbal signal sent by employees involved in casual dress programs has had a negative impact on the entire program. “The relaxed dress code regrettably, in my opinion and in the opinion of others, has possibly been taken too far. Many individuals seem less conscious of their image in the workplace. Some employees come into the workplace dressed more for a Saturday outdoor gathering or an evening event rather than for work. Business casual does not mean jeans, tennis shoes, halter-tops, and baseball caps. Some businesses are considering eliminating the casual dress code because employees have been extremely lax or negligent with their apparel.”(Allen, 2003)
Casual dress has an effect on every business where professionals interact with people. “A physician's appearance serves as a powerful, nonverbal symbol that affects communication between doctor and patient. Patients react negatively to jeans, athletic shoes and socks, scrub suits, clogs, prominent ruffles, dangling earrings, and excessive aftershave lotion or perfume.”
Many derogatory perceptions have increasingly been associated with casual dress. People are alleged to be less professional, less of a team player and even more
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