Many Workers Would Choose Wearing Jeans to Work Over a $5,000 Raise

August 27, 2019, 3:08 PM UTC

Everyone would love to make more money at work, but a surprisingly high number of people would forego that cash if they could wear jeans to work on a daily basis.

A new study from Randstad released Tuesday finds that one-third of U.S. workers would forego an extra $5,000 in salary in favor of an informal dress code. Even more surprising was the finding that the same number of people—33%— are so opposed to formal workwear that they would quit their job or turn down an offer if they were forced to follow a conservative dress code.

“The nature of work — where, when and how it gets done — has changed dramatically over the past several years, and many of those changes have ultimately contributed to a less formal workplace,” said Traci Fiatte, CEO, non-technical staffing, Randstad US, in a statement. “It’s great to empower your employees to dress for their day, as well as show their personality, but it is equally important for employers to set some clear guidelines to ensure that everyone feels comfortable.”

The survey’s figures might be surprising, but the move toward a more relaxed work environment isn’t new news to corporations. Many companies have relaxed their dress codes in the past few years. Goldman Sachs made the change in 2017 to make jobs more attractive to tech talent. The year prior, J.P. Morgan Chase said it would allow employees to wear business-casual attire on most occasions. And in 2013, Barclays started to allow casual Fridays.

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