POSTED: February 13 2019
Stuffy office traditions to get rid of this year

Stuffy office traditions to get rid of this year

According to new research 42.7% of UK professionals feel there are ‘stuffy’ office traditions in their workplace that have become outdated in today’s working world.  What’s more, employers who refuse to reconsider outdated office traditions could be at risk of driving employees away. 

Offices which are up to date with the wants and needs of the modern worker have more chance of invigorating employees and attracting fresh new talent. The CV-Library has created a guide of the top five office traditions in their opinion should be kept at arm’s length in 2019.

Professional dress codes 

It’s becoming increasingly rare for employers to demand a professional dress code, day-in day-out. Think suits, ties, neutral colours and conservative footwear. Around one-third (30.6%) of UK professionals want to see the back of these trends in the workplace.

Permitting business-casual attire is a great way of encouraging individuals to express their personal style. However, it can be difficult to implement. ‘Business-casual’ walks the line between casual wear and, you’ve guessed it, business.

To avoid confusion and potential embarrassment among employees, provide them with clear guidelines as to what you expect. Take into consideration that employees will need to dress appropriately if their roles are client-facing, or they have meetings.

Well-defined standards will allow employees to embrace the flexibility of business-casual, but you can still retain a unified image and sense of structure in the office.

9-5 working hours 

Perhaps the most unpopular of all the ‘stuffy office traditions’, 9-5 working hours are largely contested against. Over half (53%) of UK professionals don’t believe the 9-5 day has a place in the modern working world.

In fact, flexible working is often considered as smart business, rather than a work-perk. In the past, less people in the office has been equated to less productivity. However, in the modern working world, this is being re-thought.

By allowing employees to schedule their work according to when suits them, your team will have a greater control over their own lives. They’re less likely to be distracted by personal affairs when they’re working, without being tied to a 9-5 day in the office.

The greater sense of ownership that employees achieve through flexi-time is a sure-fire way for you to attract top talent, as well retaining more employees. You can look forward to saving costs on recruiting, as well as the benefits of a workforce whose work-life balance means they’re happier and well-rested.

Long meetings 

Not only are long meetings unpopular with over a third (34.6%) of UK professionals, they’re also costly to your business. Indeed, the modernisation of technology has led to the shift toward online business encounters, rather than lengthy face-to-face meetings.

Having too many meetings which are long and unnecessary has a draining effect upon morale. Employees will question if their presence is really needed and if their time could be better utilised elsewhere.

Moreover, lengthy business meetings invite ‘analysis paralysis’, where too many opinions slow down important decisions. Focus on the efficiency of meetings rather than the length. Trust employees to get their job done without micromanaging every decision they make and clear out your calendar!

Having to work in the office everyday 

Remote working is a practical alternative to retaining employees who can’t commit to coming to the office everyday. Or, for whatever reason, they don’t particularly suit the office lifestyle. Some people thrive in creative spaces and want to run a mile when they see rows of office desks and claustrophobia-inducing cubicles.

The fact is, everything that needs to be done at the office can be done at home, in ten times more comfort. What does it matter if employees want to work in their pyjamas, as long as everything gets done?

If you cut out commuting time, chatting with fellow employees and less sick days, you’ll quickly find that your staff productivity is through the roof. What’s more, employees will appreciate being able to factor their personal life in with work.

So, it’s simple. Happy employees equal more efficient employees!

Signing birthday cards for every employee 

You might be surprised to learn that 10% of UK professionals view signing birthday cards as an outdated office tradition. Whilst this could be attributed to some of the ‘office grumps’ out there, it shouldn’t be discounted entirely.

This ‘stuffy office tradition’ illuminates the bigger issue – employers who aren’t willing to move with the times. While signing a birthday card isn’t the end of the world, it’s crucial to be responsive to employees’ views, as it’s the small things which will eventually create bigger issues.

Results will speak for themselves 

The overall aim of abandoning stuffy office traditions is to boost office morale. Through showing employees that you’re receptive to their needs, they’ll remain loyal to the fantastic company that they work for.

Moreover, you’ll cultivate a feeling of pride in an up-to-date, modern work space. You can take pride in being an employer who’s ahead of the times!