Workplace revolution: What does dressed for success mean in 2013?
"Employees may be tempted to dress down in today's workplace, especially during warmer months, but clothing that's too casual or revealing can be frowned upon," said OfficeTeam executive director Robert Hosking. "Although a polished appearance alone won't land you a promotion, it can help others envision you in a leadership role."
How employees are expected to dress can be dependent upon the industry. People in the banking, legal and accounting sectors tend to dress in a more traditionally professional manner. However, there are exceptions even in more conservative professions.
“It depends on whether you are in a position where you deal with clients or if you are in a backroom support area,” said LeeAnne Linderman, executive vice president of Retail Banking for Salt Lake City-based Zions Bank. Dress code guidelines are also based upon “client expectations,” she said.
Those expectations can differ based upon the market being served, she said.
In Salt Lake City, bankers are expected to wear business suits, but in rural areas, the dress code may change to fit the client base where jeans and a plaid shirt are the norm.
“In Park City or Sun Valley, bankers don’t wear ties in those communities,” Linderman said. “They look crisp (and) professional, but they don’t look “buttoned up” like they do in major metropolitan cities.”
She said as long as the Zions’ employee meets the client expectation, then their dress is considered appropriate.
As a younger generation begins to take over the corporate environment, traditions begin to evolve making what use to be accepted as professional attire less mandatory. Many global technology companies like Adobe and Google have taken a much more causal approach to workplace dress while still maintaining corporate and business success.
Some dress standards will continue to change, said Rick Westbrook, Salt Lake City branch manager for human resources firm Robert Half International.
“We’re seeing a trend where more casual clothing is accepted generally speaking,” Westbrook said. “But for a impression, it’s still very important to “dress your best.””
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