When I first started in property, I could wear any shirt of my choosing, but it had to have a white collar! In fact I was once sent home during the working day to change out of a shirt due to the collar not being white; the working time lost was around 2 hours, so you can see that people used to take the subject of dress code very seriously indeed. It goes without saying that ties and jackets had to be worn at all times irrelevant of the temperature, and in those days, only the minority of office buildings had any form of air cooling!
How times have changed! Many companies have tried “dress down” days, but as always, some employees let the side down and dress as if they have just been to a 3-day stag party, so several firms have been forced to abandon the idea. Nevertheless the expense and the hassle of suits has been abandoned by many. As soon as the sun shows its face ties and jackets are abandoned, even by the sticklers in the City.
The whole of the media industry abandoned formal clothing a long time ago, and somebody advised me that when dealing with them, I should dress to their style. The first time I did this, the client asked if I was having the rest of the day off after the meeting! I am in property, and clearly because of that, I am still expected to wear a suit. It doesn’t seem fair does it?
Another issue that our clients have made us aware of is that of gender discrimination becoming an issue in summer office dress code. In a survey polled for Croner by YouGov, 50% of women and 60% of men acknowledged that females were more likely to ignore dress code rules in the summer, though only 33% of women believe this is an issue throughout the year, compared with 50% of men.
So if whether your business offices are based in the city or otherwise, with the onset of summer, now is a very good time to consider whether your dress code is both consistent and proportionate.
We would love to hear your thoughts, so do drop us a comment below.