Should a Relaxed Dress Code Be Allowed In the Workplace?
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Dress code is a part and parcel of modern business. It has been designed to set the standards of discipline and create an appropriate image of a professional worker. Of course, there are numerous reasons behind dress codes which are used in workplaces, and each of them is used to identify a position, wellbeing or even protect an employee who works in the harmful environment. The way how you are dressed usually tells a customer, partner or co-worker who you are and what you have been doing at the company.
In other words, appropriate dress together with basic etiquette is associated with professionalism. First impression and judgments about people are formed by the way they dress. So, if the way your employee dresses affects the perception of your business by customer or partner, it becomes important to maintain standards of the dress code which should form a positive impression.
A dress code usually ranges from formal to semi-formal, and in some cases business casual. Wearing appropriate clothing during the workday helps employees to perform different kind of tasks. For example, factory workers are wearing specially-designed overalls to protect them from a possibly harmful environment. In hospitals, the medical staff wears light, comfortable costumes which are aimed to diverse them from other visitors and of course not to constrain their moves, also it is not recommended to wear heavy jewelry since it can have a harmful effect and possible kill worker or patient during defibrillator usage. The office workers, however, have more freedom comparing with the examples provided above, since the majority of them are involved in performing a different kind of tasks which are not connected with human life and health.
So, in my opinion, companies should allow a relaxed dress code, but with restrictions depending on the position of a worker and the environment he works at. There are two main reasons why it is good to allow the employees to wear clothes they like. First is a comfort, any worker will perform effectively if he/she wears clothes in which he/she feels comfortable. The second reason is individuality, the time when grassroots in companies were in trend had passed and right now to create surroundings, where employees will feel unique and respective, becomes more and more important.
The IT staff, accounting and billing departments, designers or other professional office workers, who are not working with clients and partners directly and don’t need to be presented at the official meetings can have a freedom in their style and wear clothes comfortable for them. According to the latest researches the companies where dress code rules are flexible and provide a little freedom to their workers, the employees feel more comfortable and happier and perform their work effectively.
It is essential to note, that young workers are more likely to follow a dress code policy of senior staff and usually fall into the case when without enough experience wearing a business suit they look funny, either than professional. So here, to solve this issue, the more casual dress code should work.
But, as I have pointed out before the restrictions which will help to regulate employee’s appearance are still a must. For example, factory workers shouldn’t be allowed to wear nylon cloth, or office workers and especially people working face-to-face with a client are permitted to wear beach clothes or too open sexual clothes, also it should be permitted to come to the office wearing boxers or too short skirt and high heels. Moreover, in the last example, it can have a harmful effect not only on the working environment but also on woman health.
The other thing I have decided to consider is gender regulations connected with a dress code. In the majority of companies, the dress code rules for women and men are different. And in numerous countries, the outlining gender difference is the law violation that is why the differentiation between men and women’s appearance in the workplace must be eliminated. As a result, you shouldn’t prohibit women to wear jeans and T-shirts if men allowed to do so. According to BC Human Rights Tribunal, there are numerous cases when dress code can be different for men and women, so you need to ensure that these standards are comparable across genders. That is why, when such policies are presented to the company, employers should review them and make sure that they are fair enough to both genders.
So the development of dress code policies and regulations is still an important part of corporate culture, however, introduction of more relaxed dress code for employees comfort is needed. The limitations of dress code are based on the work conditions and tasks worker must perform. The business-like dress code will be good for official meetings; however, a performance of day to day tasks can become more effective in casual comfortable clothes.
- Holland, C. (2008, September 10). Does Casual Dress Affect Productivity? Retrieved September 19, 2016, from https://www.cbsnews.com/news/does-casual-dress-affect-productivity/
- Dress Codes and Appearance Standards. (n.d.). Retrieved September 19, 2016, from https://www.bchrc.net/dress_codes_and_appearance_standards