What does this really mean?
With spring/summer fast approaching (Well, hopefully, because as I am penning this, we are experiencing a March blizzard…..), what rules, if any, do you have for staff as far as attire goes?What do you expect, as far as attire goes, when you go to a place of business?
I think we all have a certain expectation of what staff would wear at certain places: hospitals, vet clinics, banks, coffee shops, etc.
But, what about regular offices? What about when a sales rep pays you a call?
Think about it. How would you feel if you walked into the bank and the teller was wearing shorts, a tank top and flip flops? Would this affect how you would perceive the level of service would be? The security of the transaction? The confidentiality of the person?
Do clothes MAKE the person?
I have worked long enough in my career to have lived through a number of ideologies on this topic.
I recall (being female) to having to always wear panty hose; NO bare feet. Goodness, no. NO bare arms, either.
What rules do you have in place at your office?
Some offices bend the rules in the summer and go for a ‘summer casual’ rule; 5 days a week.
Some stick to ‘casual Friday’; year round.
Some offices are ‘no casual’ at all.
Is there a middle of the road?
How is it to be enforced without offending?
What happens when someone, for instance, wears a tank top that shows a belly? Do you send them home?
What if the shorts are so short that, when bending over to pick up a pencil...?
You see what can happen.
I know. Rules were meant to be broken.
So, do we stick with a steadfast dress code; no exceptions?
Does clothing affect our productivity? Does it affect our attitude? Does it affect how others perceive us?
We have heard: Dress for success. Dress one level up for the position you want. You are what you wear.
Then, though, we hear: Dress for comfort. Dress doesn’t have a ‘position’. Don’t judge a book by the cover.
It seems for every argument that there’s a counter argument.
Do you allow employees to decide what they want to wear and just go with it?
How does this approach affect your BRAND/IMAGE?
I think you can see that this discussion opens a can of worms; to say the least.
Give it some thought. Shorts season isn’t here quite yet. If you are thinking of implementing some sort of new dress code policy then perhaps it would be a good idea to do a survey of what staff feel about the idea; get some input.
I know, for me, I like to be comfortable and look somewhat professional at the same time. This is possible.
If I have a business meeting or event, I step it up a notch (as per the parameters of the meeting/event, of course)
When I work at home, though, I don’t get all dressed up. Do I work any differently? No. Does my attitude change? No. Am I less productive? No.
So, maybe there is no hard and fast rule. Unlike the ‘old’ days, when the rules were the rules.
Have some fun with this. If nothing else, it gives us something to think about with regards to our ‘image’ and does that matter anymore? Or, is it all about relationships and getting the work done? Enjoy!