How To Create an Office Dress Code: A Manager’s Guide

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Guide to Creating an Office Dress Code

How to create and implement an office dress code can be a real headache for any office manager. What should it be? Are you more inclined to decide to go more formal or is a more relaxed vibe more appropriate? Well, as with any decision it all depends on the context of what your office does and how it does it. So here we are going to provide you with a simple guide on how to think about creating the dress code.

office dress code

Assess What Is Needed From Your Office

Firstly, a simple thing to consider, what does your office do and what is expected of it? Is it somewhere that clients and customers are likely to visit for personal appointments then you will need to carefully consider how you would like your customers to see your employees, if you are providing a traditional professional service, such as finance then a formal, smart attire is essential. But in other circumstances, if no-one conducts face to face business at the office then it’s really more of what dress code will give the workers a feeling of professional pride and relax them enough? You do want a happy workforce, don’t you?

Be Aware Of Gender Roles

You will be aware that male and female formal or smart casual will mean quite different things, and these days there are various gender identities, such as transgender employees and those that identify with both or neither genders as well. So the challenge is having a dress code that allows equality and flexibility for all employees. So make it possible for all to choose any dress code that can be accepted traditionally by either gender.

Allow A Degree Of Flexibility

If you allow a certain degree of flexibility it will keep everyone happy and able to express themselves within certain limits. Have a base code for office wear but that leaves enough room for people to accessorize accordingly within their own style and taste. There is a lot of room within most codes for style and color choice.

Be Consistent

No matter what you end up deciding on for the dress code you must implement it consistently. If you are firm with some employees and not with others it can lead to accusations of favoritism and can sow discontent amongst your ranks. You should make an exception to this rule for religious and cultural grounds, it’s important to have a welcoming and diverse workplace as you can get in a lot of bother by denying people the right to express their identity in this way.

Follow The Code Yourself

Now that you have a dress code you must follow it yourself, management should lead by example. As with any rule it will be disrespected if the management themselves do not respect it at all. But it should be easy to keep within these parameters, as you came up with the code it would be daft in the extreme to have implemented a dress code that you could not adhere to yourself.

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