summer dress code

Should you have a summer dress code for your employees?

There are some pretty weighty issues kicking around in the world of employment at the moment. We’re still in the dark about what will happen as a result of Brexit. No one really knows just yet how the new government will be assembled. But the temperatures have been hitting some pretty lofty heights recently, so there are more pressing issues on a lot of people’s minds…

Like what exactly you’re supposed to wear for work when the mercury is hitting 30 degrees.

If you impose a dress code on your employees, then it’s worth considering whether it needs to be revised over the summer months. It’s the kind of thing that you won’t regularly give much thought to, but when the baking heat hits us, it’s the only thing that your staff can talk about.

You might decide that it’s the reasonable thing to do to allow your staff to relax their uniform a little bit. Whether or not this is really appropriate though will come down to the role that they have in your business, the nature of the service you offer, and how much contact they have with your customers and clients.

Health and safety is a key issue here, and sometimes hard hats and steeled capped boots might just be 100% necessary. Comfort is important, but keeping your staff away from danger should always be your number one priority. If they’re struggling to carry out their roles because of soaring temperatures, then you need to reconsider how their days are mapped out and what you can do to support them.

Presentation is another concern, but it’s fair to say that plenty of businesses are stuck in the dark ages when it comes to this. It’s worthwhile to think about the individual circumstances of your organisation.

If you run an accountancy firm, and your staff are meeting corporate clients, then smart dress is obviously appropriate.

But if you’re a small clothing retailer with a hip clientele who come through your doors to access the latest fashions, it’s a different story.

If you’re an up and coming tech firm serving creative industries, and you’re eager to make your mark? Somewhere in the middle is likely to be the order of the day.

Back in 2014, Starbucks took a u-turn on its anti-tattoo policy, and finally accepted that no one really cared if their barista was adorned with body art – and that actually, many of their customers would prefer it.

There’s an interesting conversation to be had here about your employees serving as a mirror to your customers, and how similar styles can foster better rapport and more trust.

The key thing to take away is that dress codes are sometimes important. But the safety and comfort of your staff are paramount. Don’t get stuck in old ways of working that might not be serving your business.