Americans Value Time Off, Relaxed Wardrobe Most in Summer of 2011, According to Adecco Survey


Men and Women Disagree on Boundaries of Appropriate Workplace Attire;
Flip-flops Top List of Office “Don’t Dos” for Men, Women Balk at Strapless Dresses

MELVILLE, N.Y. (July 27, 2011) – According to a recent Adecco Staffing US survey, employees in the summer of 2011 want workplace perks that give them time and dress flexibility.  Specifically, the majority of respondents (60 percent) said they want flex time (e.g. Summer Fridays or ability to leave early on certain days) and 53 percent said they’d like extra vacation days this summer.  ‘Dressing down’ was also highly valued with 74 percent of Americans indicating they believe it’s appropriate to dress more casually in the summer, although there appear to be limits in terms of what is considered “appropriate,” according to the results.
According to the survey, an omnibus conducted by Opinion Research Corporation on behalf of Adecco Staffing US, part of the world’s largest recruitment and workforce solutions provider, the desire for time and work flexibility this summer also cut across gender lines with nearly three out of five women (59 percent) choosing ‘extra vacation days’ as one of the three workplace benefits they’d most want compared to less than half of men surveyed (47 percent). Men showed a greater interest (60 percent) in having the ability to leave work early (e.g. Summer Fridays) opposed to checking out completely.

“In the last few years, American workers have had more of a focus on keeping their jobs and perhaps less on other elements, including taking vacation and time off from work to spend with family and friends during the summer months,” said Joyce Russell, president and EVP of Adecco Staffing US. “This summer we’re seeing a bit of a shift from this way of thinking with survey respondents showing that maintaining one’s personal life and a more relaxed work environment is valuable to them.”
The survey revealed that in addition to time flexibility, close to half (42 percent) of American workers also want the option for casual workplace attire this summer. That said, there are limits to how far casual can go in the workplace – interestingly, it seems the wardrobe line was drawn at flip flops, which were considered the biggest summer wardrobe offender with 71 percent of Americans considering them inappropriate for the workplace.  In fact, more people felt flip flops were intolerable in the workplace than mini-skirts (70 percent) or even strapless tops and /or dresses (66 percent). 

Interestingly, while nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of Americans think it’s equally acceptable for both men and women to dress more casually in the workplaces during the summer, men and women had different perspectives on what is considered appropriate workplace attire:

  • More than three-quarters (76 percent) of women indicated strapless tops or dresses were inappropriate for the workplace, compared to only  just over half of men (55 percent) who felt the same
  • Eight out of 10 women (80 percent) believe mini-skirts are inappropriate compared to only 61 percent of men.

Commitment to Health and Fitness
Adecco’s survey also showed Americans historically look to the summer as a time for more attention to health and fitness. In addition to indicating they make healthier diet selections in the summer (78 percent), survey respondents claimed they are more active during the work day in the summer – whether on their lunch break or even when commuting to work:

  • More than one-third (36 percent) of Americans have incorporated exercise into their daily commute through activities like walking, running or biking to the workplace in the summer months
  • More than 57 percent said they have taken walks on their lunch break
  • Nearly half of all Americans (49 percent) indicated they go to the gym before or after work during the summer months
  • One-quarter (25 percent) of Americans indicated they have participated in at least one workplace-organized summer sports league or activity
  • Just over one-fifth (21 percent) has participated in at least one workplace-sponsored fitness class.

“Workers this year are looking to almost ‘reclaim’ some of what defines summer – a little time off, a bit of a relaxed dress code and a focus on health and fitness,” said Russell. “At Adecco, we’ve heard our employees’ commitment to fitness in the workplace and are sponsors of a global initiative that gives our colleagues the opportunity to participate in local biking events designed to raise funds to help children in difficult situations through our Win4Youth program in more than 60 countries.  It’s fitness for our employees as well as a tremendous way to give back to our communities.”

About Adecco Staffing US
Adecco Staffing US is the nation’s leading provider of recruitment and workforce solutions. We are the pre-eminent workforce management partner for Fortune 500 companies and career advisement expert for American workers, serving all of the key industries and professions that drive our economy forward. Adecco has over 900 career centers and, on any given day, connects 70,000 talented workers to the best job opportunities across the country, making us one of America’s largest employers. Please visit us at

About the Adecco Group:
The Adecco Group, based in Zurich, Switzerland, is the world’s leading provider of HR solutions. With over 32,000 FTE employees and more than 5,500 branches, in over 60 countries and territories around the world, Adecco Group offers a wide variety of services, connecting over 700,000 associates with well over 100,000 clients every day. The services offered fall into the broad categories of temporary staffing, permanent placement, outsourcing, consulting and outplacement. The Adecco Group is a Fortune Global 500 company.
Adecco S.A. is registered in Switzerland (ISIN: CH0012138605) and listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange (ADEN).

About Opinion Research Corporation
Founded in 1938, Opinion Research Corporation (ORC) is a leading global market research firm with offices across the U.S., Europe and Asia Pacific region. ORC is an official partner of CNN, the most trusted name in news, on the CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll.

This survey was conducted via telephone within the United States by Opinion Research Corporation on behalf of Adecco from June 22 – June 27, 2011 among 1,000 American adults ages 18 and older. Survey results have a margin of error +/- 3.1% for this sample size. For complete survey methodology, contact Vannessa Almeida at (212.843.1965) or



Vannessa Almeida
Adecco Group North America
(727) 743-7191

Paula DeGangi
Ketchum for Adecco Group North America
(646) 935-4029
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