In an era when even Goldman Sachs have loosened the dress code, allowing IT staff to come to work in their attire of choice, the question of what to wear to work is as prevalent as ever. Various studies have shown when we have absolute choice over what we wear, our choice of outfit will reflect not just our personality, but also our socio demographic background.
Equally in a work environment, clothing can’t just be about style, it also has to be about function. Going into a business meeting, the spectrum of what is acceptable is much narrower than if just sitting in the office.
What people choose to wear to an interview can be a powerful tool for hiring managers. Given this is that individuals one opportunity to make a striking impression, what they wear will tell you a lot about their approach to work. Look for tell tail signs like fingernails, shoes, hair. Whether clothes are ironed. If they have gone for a more casual outfit, how have they accessorised it? These are all signs to look for. Someone who takes pride in their appearance in an interview, is more likely to make sure deliverables to clients are presented well, which ultimately will influence how your clients perceive you.
Secondly, there are countless studies that now show that dressing well will help with confidence and business performance. Having a culture of best face forward, every day, will mean your culture is infused with a philosophy where being your best is ingrained in every way.
Finally factor that what we wear has the capacity to directly both influence and reflect our mood and outlook. For example, if you have a member of your team who normally dresses ok, but suddenly starts wearing their Sunday best every day, this could be a warning they are actually actively looking for a new job, so while you may not want to challenge them on it straight away, from there you can look for other more subtle indicators, like working to the clock, taking long lunch breaks etc as signs they may be on the way out.
For employees, being smart every day is proven to mean you are treated as a greater authority in what you do, even if you are not. There is a reason why dress code in Law, Accountancy and Corporate Finance Firms is stringently high. Projecting your expertise is likely to translate into more effective client relationships, higher billings and a more extensive personal network, all of which will result in your earnings increasing.
If you want to have a casual Friday culture, factor casual Friday usually translates to a boozy lunch and lower productivity as a result. If you want to do perks, you would be better off closing the office on Friday at 12 and doing a team event out of office!
In summary, corporate dress code remains a mine field, but as a business owner, don’t be afraid to dictate that the dress code should reflect the culture you want to have and people working in that environment should respect that is your call to make. People who want to be successful will gravitate to you, less motivated people will move to an environment where mediocrity is acceptable.
Vacancy Analytics can help you map out client activity, spotlight areas of growth and highlight trends you should be aware of. For a consultation on how we can help, please contact us.