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Are Dress Codes Good or Bad for an Office?

It may be a company's intention to maintain a certain level of dress, professionalism and order to an office, but according to Fast Company, enforcing strict dress codes within the workforce can be harmful to productivity.

For legislative adviser Ash Sethi, going to work each day can be stressful. He has been instructed that sideburns are not to reach beyond the earlobe and shaving should be done every two days. If not, he will be sent to the men's room with a razor.

Sethi believes that by enforcing rules such as these, he spends more time worrying about whether his appearance will be approved by the bosses than he does on the work that needs to get done.

Erica Vanstone, an employee at a regional healthcare non-for-profit agrees with Sethi, citing that rigid dress codes throw up a barrier between employer and employee.

When you consider that mega-successful companies such as Google allow staff to wear whatever they want, does dressing correctly really matter?

Job search expert Amanda Augustine believes that in some circumstances, yes it does. Her philosophy is all about matching dress with function. If you are out meeting clients, you should present yourself well. If you are sat at a computer desk in a tech lab all day, a t-shirt and jeans should be just fine.


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