Dressing for Success: Casual vs Formal
With over 50% of employers allowing, and sometimes even encouraging, a relaxed approach to office dress code, are we witnessing a decline in the requirement for a professional appearance that could ultimately see the extinction of the office suit?
The acceptance of a more casual dress code seems to becoming the norm in the modern workplace with companies allowing employees to apply their own assessment of what is appropriate. This may raise alarm bells with some bosses, as the misinterpretation of what is suitable could really push the boundaries. Revealing a little too much flesh, displaying tattoos and/or piercings can prove a distraction and maybe seen as a step too far.
According to MozillaΓÇÖs European marketing director, Jane Finnette, a lack of formal dress code ΓÇ£makes for a happier working environmentΓÇ¥ and staff should be ΓÇ£allowed to be more expressive in the workplace, encouraging individuality and personalities to shine through, which helps boost creativity as well as productivityΓÇ¥.
On the flip side of the argument is that a formal dress code allows employees to project the high standards of the business and that a casual approach may bring a casual attitude into the workplace. Some companies who have previously allowed concepts such as dress down days found ΓÇ£with the relaxation in dress, there was a drop in professionalismΓÇ¥ according to Sue Stedman, director of the company of the same name.
With recovery from the economic downturn we may see an upturn in both current and prospective employees making more effort in their appearance as competition in the job market increases.
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