Workers are dressing more casually. Does that affect productivity?
By Kluger, Kaplan, Silverman, Katzen & Levine, P.L. July 18, 2016
As the summer brings sweltering heat, office dress is shifting. Skirts and sleeves are shorter, sandals are prevalent, and both seasoned professionals and the summer’s crop of interns test the boundaries of casual dress.
But as office dress codes become more relaxed, some employers worry that the work ethic will weaken. Will wearing polo shirts to the office discourage employees from staying past 6 p.m.? Will dressing in khakis instead of a power suit make a manager less likely to invite clients to lunch? Will wearing sandals lessen someone’s motivation to negotiate a deal?
Some employers give their employees leeway to dress up or down, asking mostly that they “be presentable” in the office. At the Miami law firm of Kluger Kaplan, lawyers often walk the hallways in nice jeans and a button-down shirt. But when they go to court, Alan Kluger urges attorneys to dress the part and insists it creates confidence and credibility: “If you’re in front of a jury, you want to be the lawyer they want to hire. Dress makes a difference in the courthouse, it just does.”