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Workers fed up with tattoos and beards call for stricter office dress codes

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UK workers want their bosses to impose strict dress codes in the office, rather than being free to turn up wearing whatever they like.

A new study from job board CV-Library said one in three UK workers are against their colleagues expressing their “personal style” in the workplace, while a possibly surprising 64 per cent believe that employers should install a strict dress code for all staff to follow regardless of whether they currently have one or not.

Of those that have expressed personal style at work such as in their choice of clothes, showing off their tattoos or piercings, 17 per cent admitted they felt uncomfortable doing so.

Over a tenth, 14 per cent, of UK professionals have in fact been advised by a manager that their appearance is unacceptable for the workplace, with 13 per cent of workers believing that their appearance is holding them back in their careers.

Over half, 59 per cent, believe that professionals with extreme piercings or tattoos will find it harder to climb the career ladder.

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, said: “Whether we like it or not, we are all judged by our appearances and it’s important that employees seriously consider the consequences of any choices they make when it comes to expressing personal style at work. 

“Whilst everybody should have the freedom to express themselves, it’s important to remember that a place of work is a professional environment, meaning that an employee’s appearance and actions should also be reviewed from a professional perspective.”

Tattoos in the workplace – Where does your business stand on the issue?

The survey found that when measuring how UK professionals like to express personal style, the most popular ways were through tattoos, extreme piercings and unique dress sense.

It discovered that almost half, 48 per cent, of UK professionals have visible tattoos, 32 per cent of employees have piercings (excluding stud piercings in earlobes), 31 per cent of workers wear unique clothes and 45 per cent of men have designer facial hair such as “hipster beards”.

Intriguingly of the 59 per cent of workers that believe visible tattoos and extreme piercings can cause slowed career progression, 40 per cent admitted to having piercings and tattoos themselves.

This, CV-Library said, indicated that employees are well aware that their style decisions may be hindering their success at work.

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