It’s that time of year again. The trees are out, the lights are on. And businesses up and down the country are drawing ever closer to Christmas Jumper Day. 

So, to the question of the moment. When all your fellow professionals are donning their red and green, reindeer patterned woolies, should you be doing the same?

The social benefits of Christmas jumpers

According to Matt Slater, a lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology at Staffordshire University, wearing Christmas jumpers creates a shared social identity. This, in turn, could be good for business:

Developing a shared social identity has numerous individual and group-level benefits socially and psychologically, but ultimately social identity provides the foundation for effective teamwork.

His argument is that when members of a team wear similar clothes, the team’s identity is strengthened

To back up his claims, Matt conducted some research into Team GB before and after the 2012 Olympics. Here’s what he found:

In particular, the commonality displayed by wearing the same clothing and the values the kit represented played an influential role in binding TeamGB together.

This idea of the “shared social identity” can be a great way for smaller creative businesses (who don’t enforce uniforms or dress code) to bring their employees together.

It’s a way of reminding your workforce, no matter how small, that you’re all on the same team. This sense of being part of a team will, in turn, lead to increased engagement. And increased engagement has many benefits. Including higher employee satisfaction, higher productivity, and increased profitability.

Christmas jumpers and values

So you’ve decided to organise a Christmas Jumper Day at the office. What happens next? Usually, you’ll choose a cause and turn the occasion into a fundraising day.

This is where your employees experience another benefit of Christmas jumpers: values. 

Let’s be honest. Most of us want to do good in our communities but struggle to find the time. Working can often get in the way of charitable deeds such as volunteering. This is why fundraising in the office is good for morale.

Research suggests that donating money to charity activates pleasure centres in our brains. And that Americans who spent $5 on someone else were happier at the end of the day than others who’d spent the same money on themselves.

The benefits of these findings, when applied to businesses, are twofold. Firstly, they offer employees a chance to give something back and make a positive impact. And secondly, they allow the same employees to feel good about themselves in the process.

So Christmas Jumper Day is really hitting three big green buttons. There’s the boost in social identity and team work. Then there’s positive aspect of raising money for charity. And on the back of that is the feel-good factor of contributing to a good cause.

Conclusion

What else is there to say? If you’ve got an office and it’s filled with employees, organise a Christmas Jumper Day! It will be good times all round.