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Old 05-02-2001, 08:13 PM   #1
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Unhappy Employee Dress Code

I have seen many studies done about uniforms in school. All the studies I have seen show that kids who have to wear uniforms perform better and misbehave less. I wonder how much this would cross over into the workplace?

For the most part, corporate America still dresses in suits or casual business attire. That is except for Dot Coms. Most Internet companies tried to create very casual work atmospheres and had virtually no dress code. Do you think that has any effect on how well those employees perform? Does dressing professionally push people to work more professionally? Any thoughts?

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Old 05-02-2001, 08:27 PM   #2

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I think this depends largely on the goals of the organization.

Whether you subscribe to feng shui, color therapy or any environmental design principle, the general theme is that one's physical environment does affect how they perform in one area or not.

Given this, while uniforms may enhance the perfomance of employees who perform set tasks, it could just as easily be argued that casual dress and bright colors encourage creativity.

Extending from this, while I'd be concerned if I visited by accountant or lawyer only to see their offices outfitted with fooze-ball tables (s?), an open working environment, and employees dressed in street wear, seeing a fringe graphic design or video production outfit designed in this manner may be inspirational.

I think that the dotcom working environment was valuable, as it supported a culture of R&D and innovation that rapidly advanced internet technology. Still, some sense of order should be maintained in the structures that guide and control the money, editing and other formal aspects of business. Whether or not a shift from casual wear to formal will acheive this largely depends on the particular culture that your business likes to foster.

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Old 05-03-2001, 03:32 AM   #3
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Here's my 2 cents on the subject.

Here in Boston, dress had become very casual in banks, offices, dotcoms. I think in many work environments, this was leading to sloppy work habits. An article I read in the paper seemed to bear this out. They did a survey and found that companies with no minimum dress requirements had higher instances of absenteeism, lower productivity, etc.

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Old 05-03-2001, 05:52 AM   #4
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The only peeps that should be wearing uniforms at work are the military, police, and fast food workers, IMHO.

Be wary of studies that say that a suit and tie fosters better work habits. Who funded these studies? Could they be companies that sell suits and ties? Or maybe the dry cleaners? http://geekvillage.com/ubb/wink.gif

Designers, FWIW, often tend not to dress in bright colors for work. Basic black rules the day.

I spent more than a decade in the uptight east coast financial services arena. All I can say is that I'm darn happy to be doing the Boba Fett thing now, dressed in a t-shirt, shorts, and sandals. And when I need to visit a client and put on a suit, I have a closet full, thanks to the old days ...

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Old 05-03-2001, 06:21 AM   #5
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I have never read any articles about the necessity of suits and ties in business. The article I read said productivity has increased in companies that have set minimum dress standards. I think financial ins***utions, doctors offices, law firms should maintain a minimum standard of dress as their businesses are meant to foster trust and reliability.

Just my 2 cents.

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Old 05-03-2001, 02:21 PM   #6
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I know Deloitte & Touche (CPA Firm) of Boston has a formal business wear dress code where in the San Francisco bay area the same company has a casual business wear dress code. I thought that was interesting, maybe its the larger dot com influence in the bay.
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