How Much Does a Dress Code in the Workplace Matter? - Growth Freaks

How Much Does a Dress Code in the Workplace Matter?

Four women and a man, all dressed formally

Some may say that dress code in the workplace matters, and some may say it doesn’t. Most likely, this may depend on the job you have. When going into the office on hot summer days, you know you want to wear your shorts with some comfortable flip flops. Despite what your wishes may be, you will still wear a suit or a knee-long skirt.

Irrespective of the season, employees need to follow the proper implementation of dress code. Even if the concept of employee dress code may be simple, it’s the details that make the difference. Good dress code relies on reasonable, specific, nondiscriminatory and based on legitimate business concerns. In the past decade, several Title VII lawsuits were filed due to targeting policies which restrict personal grooming or styles of clothing which are distinctly racial or ethnic.

If your employer trusts you with your work attire, do not disappoint them

These lawsuits also targeted sexually discriminatory appearance standards which included a dress code that implemented revealing uniforms for women. Furthermore, employees also used Title VII to challenge dress codes which were selectively enforced against one gender. The best solution here is for employers to have different dress codes for men and women without imposing a greater burden on one gender than the other.

Furthermore, over the last few years, challenges to dress codes relying on religious discrimination were very frequent, especially concerning employees wearing Muslim attire. Therefore, employers need to make dress code accommodations for the religious beliefs of all their employees. In this way, they will need to allow their employee to wear facial hair, adornments, and particular religious clothing.

Two men and two women sitting on chairs in a hallway

Dress code in the workplace is important when you meet investors or clients.

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Dress code in the workplace helps you represent your company

If we were to leave aside the laws and regulations regarding dress code in the workplace, we need to think about what it represents for the company. Usually, a dress code is a crucial marker of a business’ culture. The way you dress helps you represent your company. However, it is not efficient to enforce a strict dress code because it might negatively influence staff productivity and well-being.

Other employers who have a small business prefer to trust their staff instead of enforcing a certain dress code. Some other employers prefer to define requirements of dress relying on employee roles. Warehouse workers should definitely have a different dress code than office workers, helping in terms of safety and health. Specialists indicate that employers should impose a difference for back and front office roles. It is extremely important to explain to employees why they need to wear particular forms of dress.

Customer-facing employees and management are usually required to be smartly but individually dressed. We all know that first impressions do matter and what we see can influence our opinion about a certain person. Nevertheless, employers need to offer their employees the freedom to express their personality through their work attire as long as they keep it formal.

Summing up

Dress code in the workplace is extremely important, especially when meeting clients and investors. First impressions will define the relationship of your company with other businesses. Every employer needs to trust their staff and make sure their dress is appropriate for their job, representing the company.

Image Source: LinkedIn

Author: Amanda Knowles