Maybe it’s time to pack in the formal dress codes and just let people work in clothes they find comfortable.
Think about how much more you could get done without the pain of wearing heels or having to sweat through a suit.
Some evidence to bring up to your boss: According to a new report published in Neuroradiology, wearing a tie might be limiting workers’ creative abilities.
It’s thought that wearing a tie squeezes the neck veins and limits the blood flow, potentially slowing down the brain’s processing and limiting your thinking skills.
Scientists at the University scanned the brains of 30 healthy young men, 15 of whom were instructed to wear comfortable open-collared shirts, and the other 15 who were asked to wear ties in a Windsor knot, tightened to a point of slight discomfort.
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They found that the group wearing ties had 7.5% less blood flow to their brain. Whoa. But before you race to HR and tell them wearing a tie is going to kill you, it’s worth noting some important things about this study.
First off, the sample size is teeny-tiny – a group of 30 men is not enough to generalise to the wider public.
The researchers deliberately asked men to wear their ties at a point of slight discomfort, which may not be the way the average man would wear theirs – although perhaps it is a warning against tying your tie too tightly.
The study also didn’t go into the actual impact of reduced blood flow, such as analysing people’s reaction times and decision-making skills.
While we know that reduced blood flow can reduce brain function, we don’t know for sure that the small reduction in blood flow caused by a tight tie would actually have an effect.
So, results with a pinch of salt. But do feel free to present this to your boss if you’re making an anti-tie presentation.
If you’re feeling uncomfortable because of your dress code, it’s tricky to get work done to the best of your ability – so it really is worth managers’ while to adjust fashion rules to fit workers’ needs.