These days it seems like more and more companies are jumping on the casual dress train. Whether you’re for or against it, casual dress is here to stay. Depending on the industry, your business may be more directly impacted by how your employees dress, so it’s smart to examine whether casual dress makes sense at all, and if it does, in what context. Here are some pros and cons of casual dress:
Casual dress is the cool, modern thing these days and if you put any stock in how companies like Google and Facebook operate, you’ll recognize that casual dress is favored among companies who want to appeal to a younger generation and promote a stronger work/life balance. Casual dress is also a great way to make your office environment and management team more approachable and less pretentious. This kind of environment encourages people to interact more openly, collaborate together, cross departmental boundaries, and even dare we say it…have a little fun at work. A relaxed dress code is also frequently associated with the ability to have more control over your own hours, and we’ve noticed that people have come to really value having the flexibility to set their own schedule, within reason of course!
Casual dress can work against you if your industry is one where your clients expect a certain level of authority and educated expertise. Oftentimes a certain appearance goes along with that expectation. Professional dress projects confidence, power, and influence—and certain companies must consistently maintain this image. Finance, insurance, and law are a few examples of industries where regular casual dress probably won’t work. Casual dress also requires boundaries that cover what types of specific clothing are and are not acceptable, so if you’re considering allowing it, be prepared to outline what’s not permitted. A laid back dress code can also cause employees to confuse a casual work environment with a casual work ethic—so this is something you’ll want to discuss with your team to ensure a distinction is made.