It is okay to wear shorts, flip flops, and show your tattoo on your stomach when going to the beach, but is this appropriate dress attire in the workplace? The answer to this question should be no. Companies have changed the dress code policy to reflect a laid-back atmosphere for employees to ensure retention. I would like to suggest that consider the business casual attire as a semi-formal dress code in our workplace from Monday through Thursday and casual dress on Fridays. Business casual dress has become the 21st century clothing attire in companies across America. Business casual dress promotes professionalism, increases productivity, and creates a safe work environment in the workplace.
The dress and appearance should always reflect the highest standard of professionalism. The appearance of the employees plays an important part in how the public perceives the company. In our organization, a business casual dress should be adopted. Business casual means clothing appropriate for the office. It also means "dressing professionally, looking relaxed yet neat and pulled together" (Boer, 2001, para 3). The purpose of a business casual policy is to provide a comfortable work environment while still projecting a professional image. Representatives of the company should dress in an appropriate manner during work hours and while conducting company business.
Some casual attire is unacceptable in Corporate America (i.e., flip flops, gym shorts, and see through shirts). Casual dress codes can be misinterpreted and taken out of context. It allows the employees to have a laid-back attitude and sometimes this behavior could lack professionalism in the workplace. The employees' opinions do count and should be recognized; however, guidelines should be put in place for the professional image of the company. Companies have realized they have to lay down specific policies because employees may not have a clear understanding of what is considered "business casual" dress. Dressing for success has changed tremendously. Not long ago, "everyone from the most seasoned professionals to entry-level employees had a common understanding of appropriate business attire. Thanks to the creation of the "khaki culture" and increasing popularity of business casual dress, it's no longer that simple" (Andre, 2001, para 2). It also depends on each employee's climb on the professional ladder. At the management level, the employees want to be portrayed as "examples" and should set the example for the company. Managers should be required to dress in a professional manner at all times. Employees who aspire to move up into management, should step their dress attire up a notch and dress for the job they want and not for the job they have. In the business world, we never know who is watching and observing your conduct. Since this is an organization where business is conducted, employees should always maintain a professional image, including dress attire.
The dress code should also be determined by whether the employees interact with the customer in a public setting. If the employees are required to interact day to day with customers, business casual attire would promote a professional and business sense to the customers who are serviced. A positive image for the company will stay in the customers' minds because the employees are the first representatives of the company with whom the customer interacts. Perception has a lot to do with the decision continue business with that company. Business casual attire allows the employees to be comfortable and also portray a professional image. If the employees are not interacting with the public, it is really up to the company to determine what standards they are set.
Instituting a new business dress code or enforcing the one that the company has set does not have to be a negative procedure. It all depends on how the company communicates the information. Here are three ways in which the communication can take place:...
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