What should your business dress code be?

various dress codes for your business
Dress codes seem to be a topic of discussion no matter what type of business you own. You may have some employees who try to bend the rules when it comes to how they should dress at your business, which only causes more problems. We’ve researched what employees do and do not prefer when it comes setting up and enforcing business dress codes. Take a look at what we found.

Employees want a structured dress code

Ambiguity is not something employees enjoy when on the job. You may think that saying “nice pants, a nice top and no sneakers or flip flops” is enough to give your employees structure without holding them back from expressing themselves, but the stricter your dress code starts from the beginning, the less room there is for employees to bend the rules if they try dressing inappropriately.

Professional attire tends to improve work performance

Business informal dress perfect for a client meetingAlthough there are many advocates that say dressing casually does not affect they way they work, dressing professionally has been shown to improve performance. When employees are dressed casually, they act casually. They may be able to get plenty of work done, but they aren’t able to get that same amount of work done every day if they dress casually every day. The best rule of thumb is to wear at least business casual at work in order for employees to feel they are at work and dressed for the part.

Speaking of business casual…

In almost every study and interview we reviewed, we learned that the majority of people prefer business casual for their dress code. This makes sense, because there are many ways to style business casual and it allows for flexibility while remaining professional.

Let your employees feel comfortable speaking up

picture of two businesswomen having discussion in office about dresscodeOne problem we found over and over again was horror stories of coworkers dressing inappropriately for their work environment. When an employee is “following the dress code” of business casual, but is not wearing attire appropriate for the daytime, it often makes other employees uncomfortable. Most team members do not want to speak up in order to remain likeable. This is an issue in many workplaces. The solution is to encourage honesty from your employees and in return be truthful to them.

Mimic your client’s attire

If you are entirely unsure of what your dress code should be, think of the clients you serve. If you have face to face meetings often, you should dress at the same level of professionalism as they do. If an office requires a business casual dress code, they are often expected to dress in business attire when going to client meetings. If your business sees clients on a daily basis you may want to adopt a smart casual to business/informal dress code.
To further help you establish your business’ dress code, take a look at the infographic below. It dissects each type of dress code to help you best implement your company’s policy.
business dress code infographic

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