Business vs. Casual: Is a professional dress code really essential for the workplace?

We’ve all been there. You’re running late for work and you find that all of your work clothes are in the wash, wrinkled or just not what you feel like wearing today. Staring at you are your jeans, t-shirts and other casual wear, and you wonder to yourself, “Is all of this effort to look ~professional~ really necessary?”

As millennials have entered the workforce, companies have opted for a more casual dress code. This is big in the tech world as seen at Facebook, Google and the ever-growing Buzzfeed. These companies have employees sporting t-shirts, sweats and flip-flops.

Why is this?

The argument for casual workplace attire is that employees should be able to express themselves as they work without feeling uncomfortable by the required suit, A-line skirt or dress shoes. Office employees with minimal client interaction can be found working in something that your drug store on the corner has seen you in thousands of times. With most companies, this is to change with the incoming demographic and the more open mindset of individuality.

Can this affect the quality of work that the employees produce?

This question is for the employer to decide. For some people, they are more productive when they look the job. However, this is not true for everyone. Companies that press for a professional dress code, argue that a dress code keeps employees uniform and focused towards the common goal.

The answer to the aforementioned question, “Is a professional dress code really essential for the workplace?” Is more of a question for each company themselves and what they expect from their employees. The company’s values and image play an important part in what the dress code is. However, we can expect more companies to adopt a casual dress code in the years to come.

Hannah Sharp
Marketing Intern

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