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"Business Causal Or Casual Business?" 1000 Word Essay On The Casual Dress In Corporate America. Works Cited/Mla Style Bibliography Included. Human Resource Management Paper.

1647 words - 7 pages

In recent years, many companies have relaxed their dress or appearance codes with the belief that employees prefer lifestyles that are more casual. This new trend in office attire has produced a great deal of controversy in corporate America. Should employees dress casually in a business environment? Will casual dress codes reduce or improve productivity? Will companies attract and retain the right "type" of employees? Will the company image suffer? These and many other questions have caused concern in the business world. The larger question is; does business casual dress lead to casual business practices?According to Supervision, by Hilgert and Leonard, "It is estimated that approximately half of the office workers in the United States are permitted to dress casually every business day, and 90 percent are permitted to wear casual clothes at work at least part of the time." (621) This sudden rise in relaxed office attire is a result of the success of the dot-com industry.In the beginning of the dot-com phenomenon, it was visually shocking to have meetings with company executives that were dressed in jeans and t-shirts. Many traditional companies, wanting to embrace this new concept, decided to transition their own firms dress practice to business-casual or casual dress. In some fields, the transitions were minor but now casual dress has penetrated gradually into nearly every industry including traditional fields such as banking and financing.In the never-ending battle to recruit and retain workers, many companies have discovered that allowing employees to dress more casually is a benefit that is free for the company to offer and saves employees on dry cleaning and clothing costs. Casual dress is a workplace advantage and prospective employees consider this additional benefit when exploring new job opportunities.Many employers and employees feel that there is value in added comfort throughout the workday, however it is necessary for the organization to manage this benefit as one would any other benefit offered to the staff. Firms are beginning to spell out specific guidelines concerning what is acceptable and not acceptable dress in the workplace because there is too much room for personal interpretation.Presently, there are no federal dress code laws therefore; employers may implement whatever guidelines they feel appropriate for their type of business. It is extremely important that an organization's dress code not discriminate based on gender, race, religion, disability, or any other federally protected status.Steven J. Kraus, president and owner of Human Resource Advantage states that "A business must determine what type of interaction its employees will have with clients." (Hill 15) If a position involves a lot of customer interaction, the employee's dress may have an influence on the clients buying decisions and views of the company. Even so, if there is little or no customer contact, management must take into account whether or not casual...

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