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Topic # 139105 28-Jan-2014 11:16 Send private message

So I work at a somewhat large company in AKL CBD - we, like most other companies, have a dress policy. This policy is universal in our office and has no bearing on whether you sit at a computer all day, have to climb under desks to plug computers and phones in, or go and visit customers (i.e. externally facing).

This means you are wearing business trousers, shirts (often ties, though option without), dress shoes and whatever your wardrobe includes (waist coat?), crawling around on the floor.


Personally, I think this is a little overkill, I can completely understand having this dress code when you are out and about representing the company to customers etc. But when you're sitting here behind a screen all day, or under a desk patching, installing or removing gear, what would you consider reasonable dress ware?


Do you feel that is should be a universal policy like we have now? or split it out based on your external interaction?
What is considered business casual to you? (acceptable)


I am not saying get rid of the dress code all together, there are reasons to have them, all of which are valid. But in my opinion it needs to be proportionate to the job you are in, not something that can be smacked on universally. 

Thoughts?


EDIT: Just to make clear, this doesn't just apply to IT, this also applies to CSR's who are sitting on the phone all day too! 




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  Reply # 975683 28-Jan-2014 11:19 Send private message

I think if you're in desktop support, there's a definite case for jeans/work pants (rather than dress pants) and sneakers.  As you're typically walking around a lot and as you say, crawling under desks etc. which make short work of dress pants and dress shoes.

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  Reply # 975686 28-Jan-2014 11:20 Send private message

Yup, that's pretty much retarded.

Says to me that management have never for even a day worked in the trenches.




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  Reply # 975691 28-Jan-2014 11:22 One person supports this post Send private message

I think the one-size-fits-all dress code (pun not intended) is simply a lazy way to avoid arguments over which category you should fit into. That said, in my current previous jobs I have had the good luck for dress to be flexible. Neat and tidy, but a polo shirt & jeans are OK.

I don't meet customers in my current job - generally in fact *I* am the customer - so I don't need to worry too much about business shirts. TBH in my position, any technical person that appears to put too much effort into dress sense makes me suspicious. Real techies prefer not to wear suits if they can get away with it. :-)




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  Reply # 975692 28-Jan-2014 11:24 Send private message

I sympathise. But, in my experience it's usually just a matter of selecting appropriate clothing for the job which also happens to comply with the dress code. Good quality rubber soled business shoes (instead of leather/hard sole), good quality near or 100% cotton shirts for breathability, no belt (or a fabric based belt), relatively loose trousers that still fit well. Of all those items the last is the most difficult. ; ).

xpd

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  Reply # 975693 28-Jan-2014 11:25 Send private message

Yup, we have to be in "business" dress, and I'm in IT and very rarely have contact with our "clients" - I did request IT be allowed to have company supplied polo shirts as theyre more practical and comfortable for us, but was turned down - they rather us wear the supplied business shirts (with logo) and get them filthy and ripped instead while hiding in our dungeon.

Oh well...




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  Reply # 975697 28-Jan-2014 11:31 4 people support this post Send private message

The best dress code would be:

"Wear whatever you think is appropriate"

And then only hire people smart enough to work that out. If people are too dumb to know what is appropriate, then it is your fault for hiring them, and they probably have a lot more wrong with them than just what they wear.

In many ways, this policy would be a good way of weeding out dumb people.

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  Reply # 975698 28-Jan-2014 11:31 Send private message

Current company has a dress code policy much as above, dress pants and shirts which for the IT Department has been adapted from other parts of the business.

Agree completely that as we don't see customers and 95% of our interaction is email/phone then why do we have to wear clothing that is not designed for crawling around.

However management is deaf to suggestions



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  Reply # 975703 28-Jan-2014 11:33 Send private message

xpd: Yup, we have to be in "business" dress, and I'm in IT and very rarely have contact with our "clients" - I did request IT be allowed to have company supplied polo shirts as theyre more practical and comfortable for us, but was turned down - they rather us wear the supplied business shirts (with logo) and get them filthy and ripped instead while hiding in our dungeon.

Oh well...


If work supplied us with the gear, maybe an argument could be made, but we have to pay for all our own gear. Plus it's not just about IT. It's about people like CSR's who sit behind a phone all day with no physical customer interactions...!

But to be honest, I think IT here are starting to want a dungeon now wit the amount of business people that come annoy us now :p




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  Reply # 975705 28-Jan-2014 11:37 Send private message

I managed three groups of IT staff, Helpdesk (25 CSR's ) 2nd level desktop support (10 Systems Admins) and Business Systems Analysts (5). The BSA's were required to wear corporate attire. The desktop support team and the Helpdesk staff I funded a corporate wardrobe which included Monogrammed Polo shirt, Drill pants, Black shoes. I was opposed to the wearing of ties for tech staff for safety reasons and the ability for ties to get in the way and get dirty very fast.




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  Reply # 975706 28-Jan-2014 11:37 Send private message

The best thing here is for you to make a case to your manager, and see what happens.  I do find "corporate" dress codes daft for back-office types, it's part of the reason I like working at Orcon where we have no such nonsense.

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  Reply # 975707 28-Jan-2014 11:37 Send private message

I'm lucky! short + t-shirt + jandals during summer.

jeans and t-shirt/shirt over winter. but we're digital agency. client facing roles require more smart-casual-business type clothes for our AMs.

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  Reply # 975710 28-Jan-2014 11:38 Send private message

Aaroona: 

But to be honest, I think IT here are starting to want a dungeon now wit the amount of business people that come annoy us now :p


It can be tough to be constantly interrupted (believe me, I know!) but you need to be able to balance the annoyance from interruption with the annoyance from being handed down a set of requirements into which you have not had any input.

It's kind of like space navigation. A small puff of gas 18 months before encounter means you don't miss by a million km when you get there; in my experience, early interruptions mean you can guide the requirements in the direction of 'what I can actually build' from the beginning. This is a much gentler process than waiting till the requirements are nailed (in the minds of the requester) and then finding out they won't work.


Not that that is relevant to dress codes, but just by the by.





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  Reply # 975713 28-Jan-2014 11:41 Send private message

So what about a pair of overalls? sounds silly, but you can meet the dress code and not ruin clothes.

gzt

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  Reply # 975715 28-Jan-2014 11:43 Send private message

It's a good topic for a (viral) youtube video shot from uncomfortable angles in server rooms and under desks ; ).

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  Reply # 975716 28-Jan-2014 11:47 Send private message

I have found NZ needs these policies in place otherwise you will have people rocking up to work with bare feet and in pajamas.

I still find dress sense in NZ really lacking. Most people that do put in a little effort almost always wear only black suites. Then they wear the same suite for the whole week, including shirts.

Maybe its because we are an Island nation that everybody just does not seem to care.

My 2cents

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