Is It Time to Update Your Company’s Dress Code?


In a perfect world, your entire staff would come to work each day dressed like consummate professionals. However, it rarely works like that in the real world. That’s why most companies have a written dress code that is strictly enforced.

If your organization doesn’t have a written dress code — or it hasn’t been updated in forever — you can’t expect your employees to know what to wear to work. Everyone has a different definition of “office appropriate,” so it’s your job to ensure they adhere to your interpretation of the term.

5 Reasons to Enforce Your Company Dress Code

Feeling a little hesitant to enforce a set dress code? Here are five reasons why you don’t have a choice:

  1. Ensure Appropriateness: Every office has at least one person who pushes the limits of the dress code into inappropriate territory. When even one person makes a habit of wearing clothing that is exceptionally tight or revealing, it sets the wrong tone for a professional work environment.
  2. Keep Everyone Safe: Dress codes aren’t all about keeping up appearances — they’re also in place to keep your employees safe. Rules requiring people to wear nonslip shoes or avoid excessively baggy clothing are often designed to ensure no one gets injured while trying to do their job.
  3. Look Professional for Clients: If you have clients coming into your office, it’s important for your entire team to look professional. People make judgments by how others carry themselves. If your team members maintain a sloppy, unkempt appearance, clients are going to assume they’re just as relaxed in their approach to work.
  4. Create a Sense of Uniformity: In addition to creating a shared sense of professionalism, if your employees are required to wear certain colors or styles, this may help customers identify them. Clients are bound to be confused if some employees adhere to the dress code and others do not.
  5. Display Your Sense of Authority: There’s a good chance all of your employees aren’t going to be thrilled about your dress code, but it’s your job to enforce it. If you look the other way when people violate the dress code, you’re allowing them to take advantage of you. While it may seem like a small infraction, you’re sending the message that they have the power — not you.

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