Cocktail parties aren’t the only location where you have to pay attention to your dress code, most workplaces have dress codes as well. Making sure you follow the dress code guidelines can be annoying. If you keep asking yourself: “why do companies have dress codes?”, we have some answers for you.
Great impression on clients
If it ever happens that a client is visiting your company, you really want that client to have a good impression of your company. With a dress code, the client will be more likely to think that he/she is in good hands – a dress code (it doesn’t even have to be appropriate business attire) will give a more formal atmosphere, leading the client to believe that the employees take their work very seriously. Not only will client retention become easier, but your client might refer you to his/her business contacts as well – which means more revenue for the company.
On the contrary, if there were no dress code, the client may be taken aback by the relaxed atmosphere at the company. A bad impression can be detrimental to your business relationship.
Courtesy towards your coworkers
Although you might find the dress code annoying, the fact that everyone must be properly groomed is a larger benefit to the working environment than you think. Depending on the size of your office, you might find yourself with hundreds of people in the same room. Personal hygiene is extremely important in such environments.
If personal hygiene is not enforced, a working environment can get toxic quite fast. Different people have different views on what good hygiene entails. Dress code guidelines are necessary in order to regulate adequate personal hygiene.
A large benefit of school uniforms is the fact that well-off children cannot show off their new clothes and accessories as much. But work is not like school, so arguing that a dress code creates equality under employees is debatable. It is unlikely that the salaries of people working in the same team vary significantly.
However, if everyone wears similar clothing, and the clothing is different to what employees would wear outside of work, a dress code can create a sense of a bond between employees. If everyone wears the same clothing, there is a strong sense of a team.
Have you ever dressed up before going out at night? You might have noticed that you act slightly different to your normal self when you’re not wearing your normal clothing. When you wake up in the morning, and put on the formal clothing required for your job, you feel formal as well. And when you feel formal, you tend to act more formal too.
So a dress code at work can make the work environment more professional – because people feel more professional. However, certain environments are not suited that well for dress codes, for instance, tech teams often insist on more casual dress codes.
Again, using professionalism as a reason to make the case for a dress code at work can be debated. The workplace can be professional without a strict dress code too. Proper attire is certainly not the only factor for a professional environment. Company culture, employee motivation or well-managed operations are a few examples of the many factors which determine professionalism at the workplace. A proper dress code nonetheless plays a role though.
Summing up, there are a couple of things which make it important to have a dress code at the workplace. Remember that dress codes do not necessarily have to mean suit and tie, a more informal dress code could work as well.