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With so many of us working digitally, rather than relying on face-to-face contact, does that mean that it’s time to relax the company dress code? Attitudes have also changed, in and out of the workplace, and on a global scale.

Fashion search service, Lyst, found that only one in eight British workplaces enforces a smart dress code. Obviously uniformed services will be excluded from this, but what’s happening with everyone else, and is the treatment uniform? Pun very much intended.

Dressing for your brand

What staff are wearing is influential in projecting brand image, attracting and retaining talent, and also nurturing better physical and mental wellbeing.

Lyst found the increased presence of workplace denim particularly interesting. “As work hours have increased and the ‘always on’ culture has come to prominence thanks to developments in tech and connectivity, the lines between our work lives and our home lives have blurred. This meeting of worlds is reflected in our expected work dress codes.”

Is it fair that staff should expect to dress for everyday life, in exchange for their availability? It’s going to depend. Ideally, staff will understand the requirements of the industry that they’re in to some extent, but some guidance never goes amiss.

Implement a ‘dress for your day’ guideline

It doesn’t take a genius to realise that frayed jeans, a  battered hoodie, and socks ’n’ sandals aren’t suitable for every day of the week. Socks and sandals are never  appropriate.

Joking aside, a ‘dress for your day’ policy requires staff to wear what is appropriate for the job that day.

So, an architect should be fine wearing heels or deck shoes in the office, but an on-site visit might demand sturdier protective footwear. The same might apply for those days with client meetings scheduled, and what the customer expects to see from you.

Continue to put Health & Safety first

While you no doubt want your company to be seen as cool and progressive, it is important to keep practicality at the top of your priority list.

This will vary on a business-to-business basis but it really just requires a bit of good old common sense. For instance, if you’re a company with warehouse staff lifting heavy goods, flip flops aren’t going to be a sensible idea. Duh.

Make sure there’s no gender bias going on

When it comes to addressing what employees can and can’t wear, it’s essential that you make sure that men and women are treated equally. If you don’t deal with this situation delicately and inclusively, you could risk being accused of sexual discrimination.

What is your opinion on a relaxed dress code? Are you a business owner who lets their staff come into work wearing jeans? Perhaps you’re an employee who prefers to wear a more structured wardrobe to work. Let us know!

About The Author

Elizabeth Hughes

A content writer specialising in business, finance, software, and beyond. I'm a wordsmith with a penchant for puns and making complex subjects accessible. Learn more about Elizabeth.

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