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From Motors to Pedals – How Work Attire Has Adapted to the Daily Commute

20-06-2024   


In the last two years, both work and fashion have changed. Combined, it would seem unsurprising that workwear has also changed. Previous attire codes and workplace inflexibility have been dropped, favouring comfort, versatility, and accommodating culture. But while employers continue to strike a balance between onsite and remote work, and how it is carried out, there remains one part of the working day that has changed without much attention: commuting.

According to a study by TUC, the average daily commuting time was 59 minutes. For the 251 working days of 2022, our commuting time totals to over 10 full days of travel per year. For those who work from home (WFH), a commute from the bedroom to a makeshift workspace elsewhere in the dwelling may take less than a minute. It leaves people who have remained or return to workplaces asking: “Is there a better way to do this?”

The answer is an unequivocal yes. Bringing some of that WFH style back to the office, the age of the comfortable commute is here: achieving a balance between the cosy nature of home offices and the professional mindset of onsite workplaces.

30 per cent of people believe that the way they travel has changed since the start of the pandemic. Evidence from the Office for National Statistics also suggests that this is true. Daily transport use in the UK has been tracked since 1st March 2020 and the use of cycling continues to show increased popularity, even two years on. The use of cycling peaked in May 2020, up 284 per cent against its use only two months earlier. However, in March 2022, the use of cycling remains up to 47 per cent more popular than it was at the same point two years ago. We should expect this number to increase with the spring and summer months getting closer and temperatures getting warmer.

Of course, with this shift from motors to pedals, so does the need for more flexible, comfortable, and active clothing for our commutes to work. Encouraging people to use environmentally-friendly transport for work begins by allowing workers to wear clothing that is suitable for both activities. In the summer, smart and stylish cargo shorts give flexibility for riding, while also being appropriate for the workplace.

Comfort isn’t just about how we feel sat at the desk, other factors, including how we get to work should be appreciated and considered when choosing our outfits. Aside from cycling, which has its own practical restrictions, those using public transport or driving some distance require that the trip to work should be more comfortable. 28 per cent of Brits want to loosen smart-casual or formal office dress codes, saying that a “relaxed” attire would be favourable. Implementing flexible dress codes can enhance comfort and practicality for modern commutes. Adopting options like a smart casual dress code allows employees to remain stylish while accommodating various commuting methods, whether driving or biking to work.

However, not everyone wants to go for full loungewear on the bus and at work. 48 per cent said that a move to a smart-casual dress code would be ample. This could see transitions from suit trousers to khakis, blouses to t-shirts, and leather shoes to smart trainers.

Appreciating the time we use to travel to work is essential, according to Felicity Morse, a writer and confidence coach. Reminding us that commuting is an essential transition between work and home, Felicity assures that clothes can help, “Clothes are something you can put on or take off when you come to or leave the office. Commutes give you time to move from one state of mind into another. If you have clothes that help you make that transition, you can begin to build boundaries between home and work life. Recognise the moment when you put a hoodie on and recognise that you’re now officially out of office.”

Striking a balance between comfort and style, on and off-duty is key, office workers still need to look presentable and smart, along with practical and comfortable for that bike ride or commute home. Adaptable wardrobes featuring smart/casual styles in breathable and forgiving fabrics are the way forward as we embrace a more flexible approach to working and commuting.

Sources:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/transport-use-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic

https://inews.co.uk/news/uk/working-from-home-workers-ditch-dress-codes-return-office-study-1103457

https://travelbehaviour.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/caw-summaryreport-onlineedition.pdf

Comment from: https://felicitymorse.com/ 




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