Flip flops, shorts distracting at work: Survey

Women often judge attire most harshly
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 08/17/2012

Almost one-half (45 per cent) of white-collar workers in the United States and Canada said they are more distracted at work during the summertime — and workplace attire could be partly to blame, found a survey by Captivate Network, a digital media company.

And it appears women judge the most harshly. When it comes to flip flops on women, for example, 45 per cent of women find them distracting compared to 26 per cent of men. When it comes to flip flops on men, 55 per cent of women find them distracting compared to 31 per cent of men.

As for shorts, 58 per cent of women find them distracting if they’re worn by women, compared to 39 per cent of men. And 52 per cent of women find them distracting on men at work, compared to 31 per cent of men.

"Office attire can be a major distraction for some employees," said Mike DiFranza, president of Captivate Network. "Companies must navigate the shifting definition of what's acceptable to wear in the workplace to minimize distractions without turning employees off with overly stringent policies."

Differences also emerge when it comes to position, found the survey of 619 people in 14 major metropolitan centers in the U.S. and Canada. In almost every category, those in senior manager roles and above found summer styles to be much more distracting than their administrative officemates. Cleavage (87 per cent), too much leg or bare legs (78 per cent) and short skirts (76 per cent) are the most distracting categories.

Distraction levels

Senior manager and above

Administrative/clerical

Cleavage

87%

77%

Bare/too much leg

78%

68%

Short skirts

76%

63%

Body piercing

73%

61%

Tattoo

61%

50%

Tank top

51%

40%

The survey also found most people feel body odour and sweat (90 per cent), see-through clothing (87 per cent) and buttock cleavage (87 per cent) are inappropriate for the office.

Add Comment

  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *