To Shave or Not to Shave? – Grooming in the Workplace

It has already been proven that it is possible to draw conclusions about someone’s personality and career from what he/she wears, and now research has revealed that much can be concluded from a person’s facial hair as well.

How can a beard affect your standing in the workplace?

There many hot debates on this matter and opinions vary. From those claiming that the beard doesn’t make the philosopher, meaning that facial hair doesn’t impact on an employee’s value, to those arguing that even a slight stubble says a lot (usually negative) about someone’s attitude.

Grooming trends across different job industries

A recent study by Remington revealed that men often groom themselves accordingly to create an image that suits their career profile and lifestyle in general.   In short, the research analyzed 470 influential men and divided them into six types: Mr Hipster, King of the Boardroom, The Academic, Sporting Stubble, Wordsmiths and the Everyman – and found that the length of facial hair each prefers really varies. Just look at the astonishing results:

- The hipsters and those in the creative and advertising industries tend to neglect shaving. Particularly, 63% of men working in advertising agencies are likely to have a beard, moustache or goatee.

- The smooth operators in the boardrooms, on the other hand, opt for a clean-shaved face. 76% of CEOs in British firms ‘abolish’ the stubble daily while just a 24% brave a beard or some sort of facial growth.

- Sports celebrities though tend to follow the ‘Beckham effect’ with 80% either growing a beard or sporting stubble.

- Academics appear to stick to a clean-shaved look, with 63% of men having the highest IQs going beardless.

- Authors and journalists and the ‘everyman’ such as office employees or skilled workers also shun beards.

It seems the decision to grow a beard greatly depends on the type of job you do. For those working in sales as well as lawyers - who frequently interact with people – appearance matters a lot as it should communicate seriousness and trustworthiness. They are therefore supposed to groom appropriately.  Professions such as dentistry for instance, it doesn’t really matter whether he is bearded or not because you should trust your dentist/doctor to treat you regardless of how they look.

In general however, all men should pay attention to their facial hair if they want to give off the right first impression in their career and personal life.