Day by day it became more noticeable that the business atmosphere was changing in my real estate office. Clients were becoming more informal and the staff was sensing the change. I pulled a copy of my policy and procedure manual for review thinking it may be time for an update. More specifically in the office dress code. The agents and office support team have been dropping hints about the banks and other types of professional offices allowing “business casual” dress on Fridays.
The year was 2001, and working in South Georgia the policy already stated that during severe heat an exception was allowed, bringing the code to a more casual dress. My good sense kept telling me that I was opening a can of worms.
I eliminated the “jacket required” for all days
Allowing for a shirt with a collar of any kind, knee-length shorts, open toe shoes, and denim slacks on Friday.
Everyone seemed happy with the subtle changes and the idea of wearing shorts and polos on Fridays. The first misunderstanding came of the new rule came about with the difference between “Blue jeans” and denim slacks.
Call me a fuddy-duddy but I just couldn’t give in to the five pocket jeans.
We still had clients that were quite impressionable and to keep everyone happy I liked to be a person of compromise. That’s why I added “denim slacks”. After going back and forth about this I brought in a pair of jeans and a pair of ironed denim slacks, the point was made.
As I go about my business today, happily out of a management role, I notice that just about anything goes, anywhere you do business. Some studies have shown that comfort clothes make people more productive in the workforce.
All I can say is that I plan to never wear anything stuffy again in my life. I am one step closer to retirement. Hooray!
I once worked in an indoor call center that never had a single client walk through its doors. We were required to wear professional wear at all times. It was ridiculous. They claimed that your professional dress came through your voice to the customer (yeah right). I was never so happy to leave a company.
I think those days are gone, the old way of thinking
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