Here’s the scenario: Last Sunday in the early morning, there was a fire in our office building, which hit some power stuff in the basement. So yesterday (Monday), the whole building was running on generators without air conditioning. Last night, we were notified that the power was back in the building, but just in case, we should come in to work in casual clothes (“dress down”), normally reserved for casual Fridays/Saturdays.
Now, this got me thinking: what’s the rationale here? Do we get to dress down because it might be hot? There was like a week long period during summer that the building air conditioners were 50% malfunctioning; it was pretty hot then too, so that’s probably not the reason.
The question is: why do we have a regular office dress code (ours is “smart casual”) and a different dress code on arbitrary days (“casual Fridays” or “when the air conditioning breaks down” or “if we have bowling in the afternoon”)?
Actually, why do we have office dress codes at all? The easiest answer to think of is that management wants us to “look professional”. While I don’t necessarily agree with that (especially at my work since we aren’t usually meeting with clients or anything that remotely requires being impressive), I will stipulate that there are certain benefits of having everyone in the company wearing a certain level of attire; it can provide a certain sort of ambiance that makes people feel more professional and thus conducive to work.
However, given that, why do we have dress-down days? Does it imply that during those days it’s okay to be “less professional”, or to work less? If not, then why aren’t we allowed to dress casually all the time?
Obviously, I would prefer to be allowed to wear whatever I want; wearing comfortable clothes is a lot more conducive to work for me than “looking professional”. But again, I will stipulate that not everyone may think this way.
What do you think, dear reader? Dress-down days: yay or nay?
Comment by Cecil on 2009-06-23 21:31:02 +0000
Yes to dress-down days. Comfort over “professional look”, more specifically to those jobs without much client interaction, and with very unpredictable long hours. Just nothing too sloppy. 🙂
Comment by Rommel on 2009-06-23 23:40:14 +0000
After a few years working with lots of different people, I don’t believe in the look better / more professional, get better output. Comfy rules! But of course we gotta look good too, slob look not allowed.
Comment by Chry on 2009-06-25 00:47:00 +0000
Yea for dress-how-you-want days. Some people like to dress up; some down. We should just let people decide how they want to come to work.
It’s been said that one feels smart if one dresses smart. This probably only works for not-so-intelligent people. 😛
Comment by flash-player on 2009-07-07 22:18:11 +0000
Comment by zhen on 2009-08-03 23:24:42 +0000
why dress professionally – to look professional since we do carry the company’s name and image.
why have dress down days – because it’s weekend and most likely, people may want to have after work activities that formal clothing will not be appropriate for, and having to carry a 2nd set of clothes is such hassle.
why have dress down day when the elevators broke down – hell no idea. =D