It was once an essential element of business dress as iconic as the starched white shirt it adorned, but the humble necktie is becoming an increasingly scarce sight in Britain’s offices.
Now a new poll has found that more than three quarters of office workers believe the tie’s days are definitely numbered.
The poll by DealJungle.com, a site dedicated to helping SMEs survive and grow, found that a massive 77% of all workers believe we are witnessing the death-throws of the necktie.
The demise of the once compulsory item for male executives is thought to be linked to the rise of popular culture and the spread of a “casual Friday” dress code into other weekdays.
The success of creative businesses and online trading along with the casual dress code operated in tech companies such as Facebook and Google have also chipped away at the idea of a more formal dress code.
For many young professionals the image of a shirt and tie has become synonymous with stuffy careers such as accountancy or the legal profession – and many believe even these last bastions of tradition will eventually adopt a more casual attire.
Now it seems most office workers believe the tie will feature very little in boardrooms of the 21st century and could become as obsolete as the top hat within the next decade.
Of the workers surveyed almost three quarters (74%) thought the necktie would be consigned to the fashion museum within the next 50 years with just three per cent saying it was headed for extinction in 50 – 100 years’ time.
More than half (51%) thought the tie would disappear within the next 20 years and almost a quarter (22%) thought it would last less than the next ten years.
Almost one in ten of those surveyed felt we were already witnessing the tie’s final hurrah with eight per cent saying they believed they would be a thing of the past by the end of this year.
Despite being around since 1650 only 23% of those surveyed had faith in the tie’s longevity believing it would enjoy a comeback and become a must wear item once more.
A spokesman for DealJungle.com, which has 20,000 registered members, mostly in the SME sector, said: “Ties have been around seemingly forever but increasing numbers of office workers are telling them to get knotted.
“The success of businesses such as Facebook and Google where even the CEO turns-up wearing jeans and a hoodie also seems to have had a corrosive effect on the idea of dressing formally for work.
“Many of our members keep their overheads to a minimum by working from home so they feel no need to dress up to go to work.
“We know that when they meet with clients they still put on a business suit – but a tie is no longer seen as an essential part of the suited and booted look. Instead many businessmen and increasing numbers of executives opt for a suit and shirt with an open collar.
“The tie-less suit creates an impression of a more approachable deal maker, someone who is still business minded, yet creative and technology savvy too.”
From a recruitment point of view, interviewees should ALWAYS be dressed smartly, suit, tie and shiny shoes. On the rare occasion that the applicant is told specifically to dress down, thy can leave the tie at home but still need to impress.