Melbourne: Bosses are urging their employees to suit up in an attempt to clamp down on work wear that has become a little too “casual”.
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer caused a stir earlier this week when she told employees they must work in the office or quit.
And it seems the next step in the reversal of “flexible” office environments is casual Fridays, with an increasing number of Australian businesses banning the day or introducing staff clothing guidelines in an attempt to improve productivity and company image.
Sydney accounting firm Lomax Financial Group stopped casual Friday for its 50 staff after it came up against a number of problems, the Herald Sun reported.
“Those difficulties included people arriving in dress that management thought was over the mark and suddenly a client arriving unexpected on that day and that’s just not a satisfactory position to be in,” CEO Greg Lomax said.
Lomax said a major problem was that everybody had a different understanding of what casual Friday meant.
He said that his employees hadn’t complained about the ban.
Image consultant Annalisa Armitage said employers constantly complained to her that people were coming to work dressed in clothes they would wear “to the beach or the bar”.
Corporate image expert Cosimina Nesci works with a number of organisations who are trying to re-establish a dress code in their offices.
She said that a lot of them are cutting back on casual Friday because they’re still having to see clients and what they are wearing during the week is casual enough.
Nesci said it was happening most commonly in the finance industry, commercial property industry (in particular for females), and the IT industry where employees were interacting with clients.
Janette Ishiyama, owner of Image Consultants, said the shift back to formal dressing was being driven by companies who were losing out on business due to unprofessional office attire.
Ettore Alterisio, director of corporate image firm The Alterisio Consultancy, interviewed 200 people in more than 30 organisations about their views on casual work-wear.
He found that 62 percent of employees believe someone wearing professional business attire is more productive in their job than someone wearing casual work attire.
He also found that 72 percent of employees think that to receive better recognition for achievements or work quality they needed to wear more professional clothing.
First Published: Saturday, March 02, 2013, 21:12