Tea-time today was the occasion for a discussion about
“dress code at the work-place, needed or not”…
it actually sparked off in reaction to a blog on the topic, by one of the higher-ups, in our intranet site… as in the blog and its comments, there were a lot of interesting contradictory ideas within our group too.
While a few of us thought that it was extremely important to be formally dressed for office, a few others were of the opinion that it was the work that counted at the end of the day and a few more decided that it was best to remain mute spectators.
A few arguments made by the former group were –
# Dressing well will boost your self-esteem, you being more confident at work, resulting in better productivity
# a well-dressed employee creates a good impression with his co-workers, senior management and the visiting customers
# dressing well also results in better body language and the way people react to your actions will be different, for e.g. the way the sales people in a shop treat a customer depends on how well/badly dressed that person is
Some counter-arguments were:
# one needs to be comfortable at work, imposing dress-codes and forcing people to be formally dressed will only lead to grouses about the stringency
# What should matter is how well a person does his job, irrespective of what clothes he’s wearing; wearing good, expensive clothes need not necessarily translate into better-quality-code delivered!
# one needs to dress according to the occasion; if there is a customer visit or a formal presentation/meeting, then there are no two ways about it
When one ponders, there is some truth in both these lines of thought. Here’s my take on the subject –
# Having stringent dress-codes in offices is an absolute no-no; we’re not school-going kids that we need to be told to strictly follow rules
I believe that the need to be well-dressed or presentable should be inherent. We, holding respectable white-collar jobs as software professionals, need to be able to decide what’s best for us and for our growth, both as individuals and professionals
# In instances where one represents not just self, but an organization, it becomes important to pay attention to details; creating a bad impression about the company by dressing or behaving slovenly is unacceptable
# Comfort is definitely more important than just looking good; asking your employees to come dressed in full sleeved shirts and ties in the scorching summer heat and with 2 hour travel time in choc-a-bloc traffic, I think, makes absolutely no sense
Finally, all said and done, I believe it’s an individual’s choice. If he believes that being formally dressed improves his productivity, then so be it, but if he proves to be equally efficient notwithstanding his dressing habits, then you have no reason to complain. I personally think that the emphasis has to be on dressing smart – whether in formals or casual wear. Thankfully that’s the norm in my work-place too 🙂
ps: this is by and large written, with the men-folk in mind… the points of discussion with regard to the female dressing habits will be an interesting exercise in itself 🙂