Dress code

Topic Views - 14137

chair

CCMA (UK)

Dress code
Given the current public debate about veils,crucifixes and so on I wondered what everyones views were on the appropriate clothes to wear at work

Should employers have ANY kind of dress code or is it a "free for all - does it really matter?

I am particulary interested in how non UK operations feel about this issue.

WHAT constitutes "business dress" these days or even "smart casual"


poolboy

Dechaine Consulting Inc

I'm non-UK
Hello,

I am of two minds on this topic, on the one hand I really do like seeing business clothes being worn, it makes things feel a bit more professional. I don't have many facts but when I used to be able to wear jeans and t-shirts to work everyday I just didn't put in as much work.

Alot of this depends on the call centre you work in. I've worked in two major companies.

Company A) Very young crowd and employeed primarily people who were...how do you say...not educated to a very high level. Alot of these people were students and the churn rate was quite high.

This company flip flopped several times between dress codes but eventually ended on something near casual. People just felt more relaxed and didn't feel like it was some big chore to get dressed in the morning and didn't spend a portion of their paycheque on this. It wasn't a "career path" for most people.

Everytime they tried to implement a dress code people would get mad, satisfaction would drop, and productivity would decrease (often due to people being sent home when not meeting dress code). One of the main reasons I think was because there was no reason to have a dresscode...no clients every visited us.

Company B) Current employeer, large, very professional company, with the call centre being only a small component of it. We have casual day once or twice a month where you can wear jeans but beyond that it's pretty much dress pants and shirt everyday, (tie is optional though, as it suit jacket), this is what we consider "business casual". (Business would be with tie and jacket)

I'd say both these companies wouldn't really tough on things like veils, crucifixes, etc. The biggest problem I see (more at Company A) was people wearing sexy clothing often had to be talked to or sent home.

Another major problem with dress codes is that not everyone applies it the same, I mean..as a manager I may send home someone who works for me because of a dress code violation, but what happens when another manager let's their employee stay because of it?

I'm not sure exactly where I stand on this besides saying that the dresscode should be laid out and explained very clearly, and applied evenly and fairly to everyone, no matter gender, race, religion or sex.

.

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See previous thread
https://www.callcentrehelper.com/forum/dress-codes-3594.htm

I think you'll find this interesting and informative.

chair

CCMA (UK)

Wow
You have a good grasp of what has gone before!! But how do I get back to view it?

chair

CCMA (UK)

Found it now
Very interesting, do you think anything has changed in the last couple of years?

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Change
Ann-Marie

You need to cut and paste the link into your web browser(it wont do it for you - that's the site - not me).

In the past couple of years I think employers have become much more aware of the legislation concerning this issue.
I note BA have cited the cross because its a piece of jewellery and have steered away from its religious connotation. BA are wise and have good lawyers, they no doubt saw this issue years ago.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6051486.stm

The public sector are by and large also well informed on the issue.

The private sector (as with many discrimination issues) have to have a few more cases brought to court before they'll start paying any serious attention to the matter.

Public feeling and awareness on these topics are growing and note how easily issues of race, religion and jewellery all get mixed together with many seeking actively to blur the distinctions.

Team Leader

Ingenico U.K.

Dress code
We are a relatively small office (60-70 staff) and we operate a smart dress policy, mainly because we often receive visits from customers, who are always invited up into the helpdesk - personally I believe that smart dress give a better and more professional impression to customers. Gents are required to wear shirt and tie, although do not have to wear a suit, and ladies are asked to wear smart, not too revealing tops and trousers/skirts.

We have dres down days once or twice a month - usually if targets have been met, and often for charity (ie Children in Need - we pay £1 each to charity to dress down)and it is bizarre how my personal working state of mind alters!! Two months ago, I tok the step up from Helpdesk operator, to team Leader, and although I have always dressed smartly for work (smart top and trousers/skirt) since my promotion, I have taken extra care with my apearance, as I feel psychologically more self controlled and able to lead my team when I 'look the part'

It is funny how, when we 'dress down' and I am in the office in jeans and t-shirt, although I feel more relaxed, I don't feel quite the same - almost as if a little of my 'Team Leader-ness' has been stripped away with my smart attire!

I have noticed though, that the Team as a whole seem to be more relaxed and at ease when they dress down - I think this makes up for my psycholgical short-fallings, as they are calmer and easier to point in the right direction!

Funny things, people!!


chair

CCMA (UK)

smart dress
thanks louise, its interesting that "smart dress" at your office still asks men to wear ties..i thought this was done away with years ago in a "sex discrimination" case...can anyone help with the legal position on this?

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Some advice
Legally - see a lawyer.
Unofficially if you have written dress policy which is states those items accepted and those not and the employee has agreed to this in their contract then you are covered.
So if you have a written dress code which says men are required to wear ties then that should be enough

Please ntoe the distinction in this ruling, the application of the dress code wasn't fairly applied - thats discriminatory

Thompson v The Department for Work and Pensions 2003, ET again highlighted the issue of dress codes and was widely reported in the press. Mr Thompson was employed at a Job Centre Plus office in Stockport that had recently introduced a dress code requiring staff to dress in a professional and business like manner. Mr Thompson complained that the dress code was applied differently to men and women with only men being required to wear a specific item of clothing (a tie) whereas women were actually allowed to dress in a more casual manner (Mr Thompson referred to a woman being allowed to work in a football top). In addition, only male employees were threatened with a fine for failing to wear a specified item of clothing and/or disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. The employer sought to justify the dress code on the basis that it was seeking to improve the service to the public and provide a professional level of service likened to that of a bank or building society. The tribunal considered that the requirement for men to wear a tie and the absence of any requirement for women to wear specified items of clothing amounted to less favourable treatment on the grounds of sex.

*******The imposition of the dress code was not itself unlawful, rather the difference in the application of that to each sex amounted to unlawful sex discrimination. The Department for Work and Pensions is appealing against the decision. ********

MI Capability Manager

Vertex DataScience Ltd

Dress Code
Back on topic, over here at Vertex dress code is down to the local management, so you will see different codes applied to different sites. This is good because diferent sites can be in different sectors (Private, Public, Utility etc) and the dress code reflects general culture in those environments very important on sites with a public face.

Some sites even find dress code varying by part of site, for example in the Planning Department we work to 'business casual' Mon-Thurs with dress down on Friday, whereas operational areas are dress down all the time (all inbound telephony).

Personally, I think dress code has to be what is best for the business, if you have a public face and want to be viewed as professional, appearance is a very important part to building that impression. However, in a callcentre it is only the professionalism in handling the call that matters to the customer, the agent could be naked for all they know!!

chair

CCMA (UK)

Dress code
Does "business casual" simply amount to not wearing a tie? Its so difficult to work out what Casual means these days particularly as what seems fine to one person is anathema to another....should employers attempt to define acceptable dress or simply react in some way when it seems to an individual that the boundary has been crossed?

Account Manager

Business Systems UK

Diving In
I feel i should dive in and say i feel i may have inflamed the situation with my asertions on the age debabate and how the call centre press in terms of pictures and general presentation are from where i am sitting favouring the employment of younger people

However in regards to getting back on string in terms of dress code(am wearing a suit without tie case of habit lol ) we are living in a more enlightened society these days well i hope so anyway and the bottom line is as long as we are presenting ourselves respectivly and bringing in the business then what is worn should not be an issue and i must admit i don,t like the attitude of you do what we tell you to wear and if not we will rake you over the coals with contract rubbish just comes accross a bit Victorian in attitude and repressive to human freedoms of self expression and comfort

Just think alot of it boils down to common sense


MI Capability Manager

Vertex DataScience Ltd

Dress Code
Male Business Casual - Shirt/Polo Shirt without logo, trousers, shoes etc
Dress Down - T-Shirts, Jeans, Trainers but no branded/club based football shirts.

Exceptions to this are Charity Days where dress becomes appropriate to the theme.

Common sense is the biggest factor in all this.

chair

CCMA (UK)

Dress code
Thanks guys....what about female dress codes? polo shirts for all?

Contact Centre Manager

Informa

Food for thought

All,

I dont think that just because you work in a contact centre, or are not public facing that a dress code should be relaxed....My own perception is that its a contributory factor to staffing issues....

My thoughts are that I want the business and its contact centre to be an employer of choice within the town its located. I want people leaving school or college to aspire to work for us. Now Dress Code is just one part of this - I accept that - but I believe that if you have 10's or 100's of people leaving or entering a building throughout the day that look professional you are more likely to attract like-minded people (those with a professional outlook who want to be a success) through your recruitment campaigns.

MI Capability Manager

Vertex DataScience Ltd

Dress Code
Ann Marie - reason I haven't commented on female dress code is because to my mind there never has been as prescriptive an approach to female dress code.

Maybe this is partly cultural going back to the more male dominated office environment of the past where (please forgive if I get a little non PC for a moment) the female role was viewed differently and so the dress code was somewhat loose and has remained so. The more positive angle would be that in general woman know what to wear whereas us men generally need to be told what to wear, we're pretty conservative, and this starts back at childhood.

chair

CCMA (UK)

Ties and socks
Those of you in the North West may have seen the report on local TV about the Area Health Authority banning "novelty" socks and ties from their dress code - any views or is all fair in "tie wars"?

Is it a statement of independence or a sad reflection of lack of taste?

poolboy

Dechaine Consulting Inc

fish tie
Those of you in the North West may have seen the report on local TV about the Area Health Authority banning "novelty" socks and ties from their dress code - any views or is all fair in "tie wars"?

Is it a statement of independence or a sad reflection of lack of taste?


One of the places I worked made you wear ties on business days. If you forgot to wear one you had to wear the "tie of shame" which was this big ugly tie shaped like a fish.

I always look at dresscodes and when i see strict rules and big issues raised about it I just always kind of sigh. If dresscode is one of your most important aspects then you are working at a pretty good company. I think there are far better area's you can direct your energy towards.

Contact Centre Business Analyst

Debenhams

Justin, did you mean.....?
"If dresscode is one of your most important aspects then you are working at a pretty good company"


Good? Unless you mean that all other aspects have been exhausted and covered, therefore the company is good enough to only have this issue left?

Contact Centre Consultant

DarrylBeckford Limited

Ties....
If you've got a dress code that is specific as "Must wear a tie" then I think you've got it coming to you. People will wear anything that can to pass the standard, without consideration for whether this is smart or not.

I'm a bit fussy when it comes to dress, I like to look smart and I like others to look smart. "Power dressing" may be a bit cliche these days, but there's a lot of truth in it. Dress as if you mean business, and you will be taken seriously.

Besides....I can't stand to see cheap ties, ties the wrong length, pattern ties with pattern shirts, knots too big, knots too small, in fact any knot that's not a double windsor....I'd rather see no tie at all.

Same applies to haircuts and beards. Stubble can look professional and beards can look tatty - even though most would believe in a comparison between these two it would be the other way around.

Contact Centre Consultant

DarrylBeckford Limited

Forgot to add....
Green ties with blue shirts.

Stop it...please?!

Director

Reynard Thomson Ltd.

Tie Snobs...
"Besides....I can't stand to see cheap ties, ties the wrong length, pattern ties with pattern shirts, knots too big, knots too small, in fact any knot that's not a double windsor....I'd rather see no tie at all. "

Ah, you Tie Snob you!

So, perhaps you can give us the 'Darryl Beckford Guide To Business Tie Usage' for the resources section?

:-)

poolboy

Dechaine Consulting Inc

Correct Scott
Good? Unless you mean that all other aspects have been exhausted and covered, therefore the company is good enough to only have this issue left?

However you phrased it much more eloquently. :)

Director

HYVA IT Solutions

Dress Code
GET A LIFE!

Wear what the bosses feel comfortable in. If the bosses are doing a good job then wear what ever they are wearing. If the company is doing well then thats the standard, jeans, collar shirts, suits , ties , dresses, girlie frocks etc .....whatever

Dress for the occassion. Bank Manager-smart with tie is good (unless you are loaded).Wedding - smart generally and if you are the Best Man out dress the groom.Mother in Law -year 1 to 3 definitely smart (with tie is good) year 3 to 6 you can drop the tie, year 6 to 9 what ever the mother in law feels comfortable seeing you in. Father in law years 1 to 9- doesn't matter so long as you will have a pint at the pub with him.

Moral of this story is - there isn't any

Sr.Manager -Workforce management

American Express

Dress code
I would think that a formal attire from Mon to Thu and then semi casuals on Fri would lookd neat and professional. For me work speaks louder than appearance.

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