Why Is It Important To Have an Office Dress Etiquette in a Small Business?

With lockdown restrictions easing and vaccines being made available to more members of the public, many of us are looking ahead to when a bit of normality returns. One thing that might take some getting used to for both business owners and employees is wearing office attire again. After many of us have spent over a year working in loungewear, remembering to swap our joggers for something more office-appropriate may require more brain power than before. 

But why is dressing formally for the office important? Here’s a look at some of the reasons to embrace workwear again and why it’s important to have a dress etiquette as a business owner. 

Keeping it casual

Before the events of the last year, you may have had a formal dress code within your company, allowing for themed events such as Children in Need to be an excuse for your team to dress up or down in something different to everyday workwear. It may even be that you were an office that had a casual Friday policy in place, where your team could come in in jeans. 

However, if you’re reintroducing formal office attire as employees slowly re-enter the office, you may have to pause these informal additions until everyone is used to being back at their desk. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have the more light-hearted side to things, but it does mean you might need to allow for an adjustment period first. 

Here’s why it’s important to stick to a dress code for the time being. 

Dress for success 

What we wear can have an impact on how we feel just as much as it can affect people’s impressions of us. If we wear something smart, such as fitted shirt or a tailored women’s skirt, we put ourselves in the mindset of someone ready to give a first-class presentation or finalise a business deal. This can, in turn, help to boost our confidence levels and help us achieve our goals. 

Likewise, when we’re dressed for a business setting, others will see this. They may be ready to take you seriously or expect you to know what you’re talking about. 

Therefore, by setting some ground rules about what you and your team are expected to wear in the office, you’re readying your company for success. 

You’re a new business

If you’ve only recently launched your start-up or you’re in the early stages of building your reputation, making a good impression to prospective and existing clients is all the more important. Your employees represent your company, and what they wear reflects on you and your business. Therefore, if they stick to smart-casual clothing, you’re likely to be seen as a serious contender in the field you work in.   

If, on the other hand, an important client comes into the office for a meeting and they see that your staff are dressed casually, it’s possible that the client will make assumptions about your company. They might think that employees aren’t interested in the image they project and this, in turn, hints at them not being interested or invested in the job.

All together

If your employees are all dressed in similar levels of office attire, they are more likely to feel like they are part of a team. They will see that their colleague is in a similar outfit to them, and this can help to build solidarity between team members. 

Therefore, if you do decide to reintroduce dress-down Friday or allow your team to come to work in their pyjamas for charity events, this can feel like a special event. 

Heron Nelson

Heron is a business blogger with a focus on personal finance and wealth management. With over 7 years of experience writing about financial topics, Heron has established herself as a trusted voice in the personal finance space. She has a deep understanding of financial concepts and strategies, and is able to explain them in a relatable and actionable way for her readers.