Ever wonder how you can inspire your staff to get into the spirit of Casual Fridays? Well, how about trying some custom-designed t-shirts?
Getting some custom-tees for your employees with your company logo or a catchy phrase or simply a Casual Friday message like “TGIF” is sure to delight everyone – if only for the fact that they can get out of their hose and ties and into a comfy tee. You may find that, no matter how corny they think matching t-shirts can be, almost everyone in your office will be happy to don a Casual Friday tee – the comfort alone makes the tee sell itself.
If there are a few stuffed shirts at the office who resist wearing a Casual Friday tee that the boss has designed herself, letting him or her choose the colors may help. Even compromising with a Henley or Polo shirt may help. You may then be able to work the reluctant clothes horse into something a little more comfortable!
It’s interesting to note how Casual Fridays got started in the first place. It began in the late 1950s when corporate leaders were looking for ways to raise morale. It took the 70s to roll around before many companies and their employees caught on. Many historians agree that the flooding of cheaply made clothing from overseas into US and Canadian department stores is what help make Casual Friday become so popular. In fact, many employees resisted dress-down day, because they didn’t have the clothes for it.
While the boss may not have intended to cause new wardrobes to be purchased, it was inevitable. Many folks wear old clothes around the house, the better to do chores such as mowing the lawn and mopping the floors in. While these may be the most comfortable clothes in the closet, they are hardly suitable for the office, even on Casual Friday. For some companies, Casual Fridays turned into Casual Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday as well. The infamous dot-com companies encouraged casual wear to the point of shorts and sandals. That old Metallica tee wasn’t frowned upon, either.
These days, corporations are moving back to a more conservative approach to Casual Friday. While it is good for morale, most employers don’t want it to become a free-for-all. Using custom-designed tees for the weekly dress-down is a good alternative. Tees can be matching or complementary to each other; in fact, employees may be more apt to wear the t-shirts if they have a bit of a choice about which one they take home. If possible, offer two shirts to each employee. That way, they will feel that they have even more autonomy over their attire on a day that they are supposed to comfortable and dress like the people they truly are.
After all, most people are more relaxed out of the office than in it, and their clothes do reflect that. Not many of us are comfortable hanging around in a shirt and tie or skirt and suit jacket. We like to wear jeans, shorts, sundresses, etc… out of the office – these choices reflect who we truly are. So, offer your employees the option of a custom- designed t-shirt to wear for Casual Fridays – you’ll boost morale and probably get to know them better, too.