Have you ever worn a work uniforms?
I have on a few occasions.
When I was a teenager I worked in the restaurant at BHS ( the department store) every Saturday. We had to wear brown and check dresses with press studs down the middle and then make a paper hat each week to wear. I could never ever make the hats, they always fell apart and each week my supervisor would tell me off for it!
The dresses were awful too, they were made of scratchy polyester and you were only allowed a new one once a year. They would get stained and they would get too small. I was only 15 and still growing. Just horrid to have a uniform that was too tight.
However there were benefits to wearing this uniform. I used to spill all sorts of things as I carried trays and washed up and I was forever thankful that I was not soling and spoiling my own clothes. It also washed very easily so if I did 2 shifts at a weekend a I could launder it in between.
The care home job
The next time in my life I wore a uniform I was working a night shift at care home for older people. This uniform was much nicer and consisted of white trousers and a while and blue tabard. The waist was elastic and the top had some stretch thank goodness.
I did however always question whether white was a great colour for a job that seemed to see me spill tea, medicine, etc down me on a fairly regular basis.
The benefits of wearing this uniform were many. It clearly told the residents I was staff and again it saved my own clothes.
The problem with not wearing a uniform
My first full time job was a social worker in a teen’s children home. I was 25 but I looked about 18. The problem was I dressed and looked like the teens in my care so they treated my like their friend rather than staff. Their parents and visiting key workers were not very respectful either I felt, treating me as much more junior than I actually was.
I think I could have really done with workwear solutions like a really great uniform with a distinguishing link to the care home.
On this occasion I think the benefit of a uniform would have been to give me status and role and provide a marked difference between me and my clients.
More uniform benefits
So yes, there are a multitude of benefits to wearing a uniform and a few more I ‘d like to address.
During the pandemic (which of of course is not over yet) PPE became the required uniform of our brave front line health and care workers. Uncomfortable, difficult to work in too but absolutely paramount to their safety.
Uniforms are often linked to safety benefits through fire fighters, police officers and paramedics. Not only do they keep staff safe they also enable people to quickly see who they are and give them access – another vital safety measure.
On a lighter note uniforms also look smart and are a great way to show branding. They make a company, an event or a team look more professional. They give a cohesive look that can really take a business up a notch.
What do you think of work uniforms and their benefits? Have you ever worn one?