The extent to which a business is going to be positively or negatively perceived depends a lot on the impression that that business leaves in the public. While the quality of products and services unquestionably affects the reputation of a company, its employees and their image also make a difference. The first impression that people get when they enter an office is determined by the way the employees there look like and what they are wearing. Business partners can often seethe ambitions and business goals of a company from its dress code.
Employees as business models
An employee is not only a worker, but also a representative of his or her company. Imagine that you work in a company that is trying hard to establish a partnership with another company and the representatives of the other side are coming to negotiate your futurecollaboration. If all the men from your company are wearing elegant, classic suits, ties and polished shoes on the day of that visit, the chances of reaching an agreement will be much higher. For the female part of the team, knee-long skirts, white button-up shirts and blazers are a must, as well as black or brown laced shoes. Employees wearing such clotheswill showcase the serious nature of your company.
How smart for small businesses?
A company’s dress code depends on the type of business. For instance, a local retail store will require a certain type of corporate clothing, but definitely not too fancy a look. For instance, a person working in such a store will be overdressed if they wear a classic suit to work. The point is that employees should adapt their dress style to the place they work at. Too formal clothes in a small family business will look pretentious. For such smaller enterprises it would be more appropriate to follow the business casual dress code.
Jewelry in traces
Being ostentatious with jewelry is never a sign of good taste. In a business context, it can be considered cheeky and even insulting. Boasting with a fancy watch or glittering gold earrings will distract your business partners and colleagues from their business objectives. In addition, people should think carefully about their work position when they decide to get a tattoo or a piercing. Employers might tolerate such body decorations as long as they are not visible, i.e. when they are covered with clothes. So, a rule of thumb is that jewelry should be reduced to a decent minimum and tattoos and piercings should be avoided in visible places.
Knowing that today some large companies do not apply strict rules in terms of clothing on their employees (Facebook. Google, Microsoft), other working people might want to change some rigid dress code rules in their own companies, too. Again, whether or not such an initiative is going to be successful depends on the company management and its clients. Since employees’ clothes do affect the way customers perceive their service providers, it would be smart to use the benefits of paid surveys to see what their clients think about their dress codes. Surveying companies, like Proopinion, offer such services at affordable prices.
So, If your clients approve of a more relaxed style, there is no reason to stick to the harsh old rules. However, when attending meetings with top managers, you always have to wear fist-class business clothes.
Reduced hair(s) in head area
The issue of hair and beard is part of the business dress code, as well. Men should keep their faces shaved and their hair tamed if they want to sendserious business messages. On the other hand, women should dye their hair in usual colors – brown, black and blond – in order to leave a proper business impression. They should not experiment with asymmetrical hairstyles, since they could look too childish, which could in turn undermine the business efforts of the whole company. Check some popular and well-accepted businesswomen hairstyles here.
Even if your company does not have strict rules on the dress code, you should try to dress in a neutral way, to keep an impartial business look that can work well in every single business situation.