Workplace 101: The Importance of Appearance in the Workplace

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Gone are the days when people with tattoos and piercings are immediately stereotyped as outcasts and rebels. In today’s society, individuals discussing taxes or mortgages may just be as off-putting as those with tattoos or piercings once were.

Although the quality of work is of paramount interest to employers, appearance can still leave a lasting impression on everyone — your colleagues, the management, and the clients.

One study concluded that a person’s grooming provides crucial information about one’s values and personalities. Well-groomed employees give an impression that they place importance on the organization they are working for.

While expressing one’s individuality and eccentricity in today’s offices is allowed and even encouraged by some, most workplaces are still on the conservative side. They expect their employees to be the same as well.

Furthermore, some companies have dress code policies that could leave jobs hanging by a thread if not adhered to.

Many would even argue that how you look at work does not matter so long as you have the capability and knowledge in your job. However, in the professional world, physical appearance undeniably matters. First impressions last.

Why Physical Appearance Is Importance in the Workplace

1. First Impressions Count

No matter how much you try to convey your personality, your colleagues, higher-ups, and clients will still factor in their first impression of you. This first impression generally lies in how you carry yourself.

Once we have formed an impression of someone, it is hard to get over it. Whatever the person does, we will ultimately judge him/her based on our initial encounter with them.

Thus, being an office worker, we should make an effort to give some thought before dressing up or grooming ourselves in a certain way.

2. Professionalism

Your physical appearance also gives an immediate clue about your level of professionalism. Most companies observe a certain level of neatness, especially when you belong to a department where there are frequent client engagements.

Even companies with a very casual dress code policy expect their employees to look presentable. As mentioned, people will communicate with you and show you respect based on how you present yourself.

Poor grooming and lack of personal hygiene give off an impression that you do not value your job and the company, even though that is not the case.

3. Company Image

How employees present themselves says a lot about a company. Young, hip, and trendy employees communicate with an energetic and edgy organization. On the other hand, more formal employees give the impression of experience and a sense of steadiness.

That is why company uniforms and grooming standards are crucial. They are in place to essentially manage the overall image of a business. Most traditional companies ask their employees to cover tattoos and remove piercings while in the office.

How you present yourself also has a huge impact on getting a job. Hiring managers place a premium on an applicant’s appearance. For example, businesses focusing on health and fitness are unlikely to hire someone who looks unhealthy or unfit.

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4. Client’s Perception

Employee appearance is also crucial when meeting potential clients.

Older clients tend to worry when talking to young employees who do not present themselves smartly, as it sends off a vibe of inexperience. Meanwhile, older, traditional-looking employees do not give an impression of being cutting edge.

What companies may do to remedy this dilemma is to research the new client before the first meeting. Knowing their sense of style and personality allows your employees to prepare themselves, putting their best foot forward.

5. Career Advancement

“You dress for the job you want, not for the job you have.”

Whether you agree with this adage or not, how you look can significantly affect your career advancement and how much money you earn. Individuals who look better often make more money than those with sloppy appearances.

No matter how much we try to negate it, our appearance says a lot about our ambition, working style, and how much we value our careers.

In a workplace setting, by dressing appropriately and appearing well-groomed, your colleagues will give more respect to your ideas, and your employers are likely to notice you.

How You Can Improve Your Physical Appearance

It does not necessarily mean you have to undergo a drastic transformation just so you can stand out in an office setting. Take into consideration some suggestions for you to improve your appearance.

Follow Dress Code Policy

Most companies have certain rules and policies when it comes to your attire. Dress codes give everyone in the organization a sense of uniformity. Also, how employees dress reflects the organization’s core values.

Mind Your Grooming and Hygiene

The value of grooming and personal hygiene should never be overlooked. Simple things like keeping your nails clean, getting a proper haircut, and brushing your teeth can make a huge difference. You can also consider getting some procedures done to improve your overall look. For instance, you can go to a salon to get a treatment that would make your hair look nice and healthy. You can visit a dentist to have your teeth cleaned thoroughly. You can even go to a specialist and get derma fillers to hide fine lines and wrinkles on your face.

Body Language Counts

Aside from looking your best at work, your body language is also important. Keep in mind that your body language also conveys your level of professionalism. For example, even if you do not like the person you are speaking with at work, you still appear attentive.

Spoken Words Matter

Lastly, spoken words are part of your appearance. Foul language is a huge taboo in an office setting. Not only could it taint your professional relationship with others, but it might also go against the company’s code of conduct.

Though it may seem ridiculous at first to worry about one’s appearance in the workplace setting, heeding to these pieces of advice goes a long way not only for your organization but also for your career growth.

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