2013-05-13

Casually yours or suit it up at workplace?


You are reminded that you are no longer in college as your office rules state that you should dress up smartly, read wearing corporate shirt, trousers and black shoes while reporting in the morning at work. Hey, we've heard it somewhere that offices are now flexible nowadays since jeans and tee are allowed, isn't it? After all, what matters is not what we wear but how the work is done and I firmly believe that competence, skills, dedication to one's work ethic and professionalism has got nothing to with wearing formal attire coupled with a tie.
There are many companies who insist that employees should dress formally in office to maintain decorum. While this may hold true for bank or corporate employees, this may not necessarily hold true in liberal professions such as film-making, advertising or journalism. Honestly speaking, I feel that what we offer in terms of performance, working round to clock to meet deadline and bring results and dedication to one's craft is more important. What's the point of dressing formally, if one employee is not result oriented. What matters at the end of the day is not how you dress up in office but bring results that raises the stock of the company. There many people who wear corporate suits or sarees and carry a huge brief case in office but fail to perform in the work place. Certainly, I would prefer someone wearing jeans and a tee but perform efficiently than a show-off person wearing suit and end up doing nothing in office.
Personally, I abhor wearing a tie and whenever I wear a tie, I feel like a dog with a collar round my neck. It smears of colonial hang-out when companies forces their employees to dress formally in office. During my career as a reporter, I appeared in cocktail, wearing my blue denim and shirt and some friends told me, dude you should have dressed formally for the occasion. I simple quipped, hello! I am here to cover the event and it's not that I have been invited as a VIP guest. I find the idea of wearing suit as a very repressive mindset where the aim is to exploit employees.
Ok, let's get straight at things: If one has to attend a formal event, then yes, the person should dress formally in trousers and shirts. But, I feel that on a normal day one should be allowed to dress casually in jeans and tee. This creates a conducive and chilled out environment where the staff do not feel oppressed and work in a very relaxed mode. One does not feel the pressure and it can lead to better efficiency and productivity.
Whenever, I have formal events to attend, I carry a formal shirt in my bag and when I leave for the event, I change into the formal shirt tucked into the pair of jeans. In fact, wearing a formal shirt over jeans look quite corporate and smart, I feel and there are so many corporate guys who have sacrificed the traditional trousers for jeans. 
Today, everybody is speaking of an increasingly changing global work environment and I feel that it makes perfect sense to change our traditional and conservative outlook when it comes to dressing up at the work place. Sure, it's a generation gap problem that need to be addressed by employers who need to change their outlook since the majority of employees are in their 20s and late 30s. You are dealing with a young work force who has a fresh perspective towards life and work. Therefore, how does it affect work whether the employee is dressed casually or formally. What stand important is the potential, knowledge and ability to deliver the goods on the part of the prospective candidate and not what he or she wears in office.
For those who came late, Yahoo CEO Marissa Ann Mayer tickled the bones of young employees when she said either wear formal or quit. I feel this is something which is the least needed in a social media organization like Yahoo. Perhaps, Mayer should grow up and be more in sync with today's changing reality at the work place.

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