Wearing a well-made, well-fitting uniform can make employees feel 22 per cent happier at work, according to new research carried out by Coventry University and Murray Uniforms, a designer and manufacturer of bespoke uniforms and workwear.
Researchers from Coventry University’s Centre for Arts, Memory and Communities explored the relationship between wearing a uniform and perceived employee happiness and productivity.
They found that wearing a well-fitting, well-made uniform positively impacted the happiness and confidence employees felt most in the 25–34-year age group and appeared to be greatest among women.
Under 50-year-olds felt most strongly that wearing an appropriate uniform that they liked to wear would help them enjoy their job more.
Murray Uniforms say the findings prove its long-held belief that the right uniform can have a significant impact on employee wellbeing and productivity in any job role, and the research will help them to prioritise the key elements of uniform design that are likely to influence these factors.
The study questioned 2,560 men and women, aged from 16 to over 60, working in a variety of customer-facing and non-customer-facing roles at seven uniform-wearing companies in the UK and Europe.
They included employees in operations/warehouse, transport, customer advisors, checkout operators, desk/office-based staff, engineers, shopfloor staff and store managers.
Mark Bass, Managing Director at Murray Uniforms, said: “We’ve known for a long time about the power of what you wear in terms of the effect on performance on an individual’s role, but being able to put numbers and evidence against that has been so powerful and we’re now in a position to share the insights.
“We have developed this essential resource to enable buyers and key stakeholders to develop a uniform programme that meets their business, people and environmental goals.
“Knowing the potential return on investment on a uniform and understanding what might drive it within your business is the reason we developed this study with Coventry University.
“This report will tell you all you need to know about the impact of uniform on an individual’s wellbeing and productivity in their role.
“Murray will continue to be curious about the impact of uniforms and workwear and ask the big and often challenging questions about their impact and benefits.”
Professor Louise Moody, Professor of Health Design and Human Factors at Coventry University, said: “We are interested in the notion of ‘enclothed cognition’ and how it can be applied to understand the relationship the wearer has with their uniform, so we were delighted to be invited to work with Murray on this project.
“If a uniform significantly affects how an employee feels and how they act, logically it will affect at some level their happiness and wellbeing and therefore their productivity.
“By better understanding this relationship from the perspective of the employee, arguably we should be able to provide benefits for both uniform wearers and companies through garment design.”