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What Do I Wear to Work Today?

That conundrum we can face most mornings – what should I wear to work today?

Sometimes it is easy if there is a uniform or a simple change of tie, but if it is written down it gives much more help and guidance. A Dress Code Policy tells employees what is expected business attire at work and usually sets the standard that companies want you to meet. Does your company give you guidance on what is acceptable?

A solicitor and a graphic designer usually have different dress codes as part of their ‘brand’. It helps the brand and has a dramatic effect on the culture of the organisation. Think about the relaxed, but colour coordinated t-shirts in an Apple store. The relaxed uniform meets the product offering; I personally wouldn’t feel comfortable buying my new iPad from an advisor in a suit and tie! An interesting one is teachers and lecturers.

However, is a formal dress code outdated? Is it better to let your staff feel comfortable at work in the hope that productivity and performance will increase. Tech giants, such as Google, Facebook and EA in the US are very informal. However, what is deemed too smart (waistcoat and tie) in some organisations or too relaxed (ripped jeans or trainers)?

These examples might be the easier ones to sort, but what about other characteristics that must be covered to prevent discrimination. These include gender, age, pregnancy, race, religion, sexual orientation? And what about Health & Safety or visibility.

Is it worth reviewing your Dress Code? I am convinced your employees would welcome this, as there is nothing worse that thinking ‘what am I wearing to work today, and will I fit in!’


Inspired by: The age old question of “What Should I Wear To Work?

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