Singaporean workers dress too casually, says employers

Singaporean workers dress too casually, says employers

Image is a big factor when it comes to job interviews, and even for snagging that promotion.

A survey by the Association of Image Consultants International (AICI) here revealed that bosses view an employee's image as an important attribute, along with job qualifications.

AICI president Pang Li Kin explains the importance of image in the workplace.

What makes a good first impression?

A top-to-toe visual image is what a boss first sees. Your appearance forms two thirds of a positive image, so pay attention to the way you groom yourself, how you're dressed, and what shoes you're wearing.

After that, the employer will look at non-verbal presentation skills. Be aware of your behaviour, etiquette and manners. Lastly, he will examine your verbal-communication skills, and your confidence level.

What are some big mistakes people make when it comes to their image?

From the survey, we found that bosses want to see less revealing, casual and sloppy clothes... It reflects badly on the company's image and performance if you don't look good and behave professionally.

What do bosses want to see more of when it comes to an employee's image?

The survey revealed that over seven in 10 senior managers want their staff to look more polished, smart and sharp. Dress appropriately for your job position or sector, always be decently covered up and remember that what you wear sends out a message (about you).

Do Singaporeans dress badly?

The issue in Singapore is not about dressing badly, but about dressing appropriately.

We tend to see overly-casual or inappropriate attire in the workplace.

This is mainly due to a lack of awareness of what is appropriate dressing. Bosses can help by educating their employees on appropriate workwear and behaviour, and (let them know that this) does affect their career advancement.

13 ridiculous office rules

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    One employee says: 'I can't bring in soda to share with other employees because there is a vending machine.'

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    'My place of employment only lets staff drink water from small cups, and you must drink the whole cup immediately, then dispose of the cup. You are not allowed to have water bottles on shift, no matter which part of the store you are working in. If you are on break (unpaid time) you cannot purchase a bottle of water, even if you drink all of it and dispose of the bottle before you come back on shift.'

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    'We are incapable of sending emails from our work accounts without selecting what the email is for. To send it, we have to select from a drop-down menu things like 'casual memo' or 'request for time off'.'

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    Another employee says that the company does not allow employees to move furniture around. 'Want to slide a desk across the room? Can't. That is violating union rules, and taking work away from the facilities team. You have to call and schedule the movers. Then they charge you for it.'

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    An attorney says that his firm makes all employees state exactly where they are headed when they leave the office.

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    'I used to work for a ritzy cafe that had five separate and distinct beard rules. Beards had to be between a certain length or you had to shave it. No mutton chops. There were rules about mustache/beard combos. If you wanted to grow a beard, you were not allowed back into work for two weeks until you grew it out to a 'respectable length.'

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    'At my former job we weren't allowed to 'grow' facial hair. So we were allowed to either have no facial hair at all, or have a fully grown moustache. Our manager told us if we wanted to have a moustache, we would have to go on vacation, grow a stash, and come back from our vacation with a fully grown moustache.'

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    One person was fired for carrying boxes in his hands instead of using the dolly to move them.

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    'I work in a warehouse. No hats. It's cold here in the winter and the poor bald guys can't wear hats.'

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    One employee was warned about the strict no-popcorn rule enforced by the firm's CEO. An email explaining the rule was sent to staff. It said: 'Has anyone ever tried to talk on the phone and eat popcorn?'.

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    'No cell phone shaped objects in your pockets at work. At first I thought it was a typo, then they started to write people up for wallets, packs of gum, and other rectangular shapes in our pockets.'

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    'Someone at work sneezed and another one said 'bless you!' A third party heard it and complained to HR about it. Guy who said 'bless you' was given a warning and had to take a course in professionalism.'


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