Home > Core Business Skills, Sebastian > Is every day a casual friday?

Is every day a casual friday?

As I have seen a lot of my friends starting to work in different professions, it has always been interesting for me to see them navigate through their new environments. The variance of perceptions of appropriate business attire in their diverse fields were especially fascinating, as I found.

Whilst some of them had to commit to a given dress code others were only ‘restricted’ by the term “anything goes”. Formal dress codes are mostly connected to positions in which someone has to deal with customers and therefore is asked to even visually embody the company. I even know a company that prescribes their employees to wear a suit to the office every day, just in case a customer shows up spontaneously or unannounced.

But there is the other extreme as well. To me it seems like professional dress codes have loosened up over the last decades. Started by the “casual-Friday-movement” in the late 1990s that rooted in a relaxed California-based business culture. I think in its original version that meant a business casual or smart casual Friday-wardrobe in contrast to the business suited wardrobe during the rest of the working week.

However, nowadays most people are free to choose what to wear to work every day. The guideline basically is to wear, whatever you feel comfortable in. This can be everything, starting from a simple T-shirts, over button-down shirts up to button-up shirts. Still in a silent precept management trusts its staff to dress appropriately when dealing with customers. While someone should still feel comfortable in his/her garments in such situations, the formal expectations of the clients need to be met.

Whilst I agree on the freedom to wear whatever makes you feel comfortable on a daily basis in the office. On the other side I ask myself what space this dress code leaves for a casual Friday. The opportunity to dress casually (different) on a Friday, provides us with a pleasant anticipation of the weekend. Doesn’t that give us the motivation to accelerate our working speed, finish up our To Do’s and joyfully leave the workplace for two well-deserved days off?

I like the idea of the distinction between a Friday and the rest of the working week, and I also like to be prepared and feel comfortable in case a customer shows up unannounced (what doesn’t necessarily require a suit). Nevertheless, I’m happy to skip the casual out of my Friday, if I have an important meeting lined up…

In this context I would be interested, how your company handles the dress code issue and if you have a casual Friday, respectively how this philosophy is executed in your environment.

I’m curious for your comments


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