The shutdown proved to a lot of people that physically being in an office is not necessary for getting work done. But now that conversation is also reaching work clothes and the office dress code.
At home, many enjoyed their comfortable houseware. As discussed in Fortune last month, some of that work-from-home mindset is now also seeping into the workplace for those who have returned to the office.
That does not mean you can abandon decorum altogether and start showing up in bunny slippers.
However, it does mean a pair of nice-looking jeans may be acceptable whereas before the office dress code clearly specified slacks. It might mean a polo shirt is now adequate in an environment that previously demanded a button-down shirt.
Sneakers could even suffice over dress shoes.
With many workplaces being flexible enough to allow employees to remain fully remote, those that want workers back in person are having to compromise.
Workers want more comfort in their work routine, so the loosening of the dress code appears to be a concession some companies are willing to make to keep everyone happy.
However, not everyone is thrilled about professional attire becoming a lower priority. “It’s kind of fun to dress up,” said Emily Kirchner, a worker who is excited to return to work after being home during the pandemic with a new baby. “It’s kind of like that back-to-school feeling.”
That also echoes opinions expressed by those who worry remote work has possibly made workers less productive. So some employers may feel that professional attire helps keep people in the mindset to be working.
Right now, many companies are in a transitory period of figuring out what changes they want to make post-pandemic office life. It could be that as you return to work you will find a wider variety of options for what constitutes professional attire.
For more about how the office dress code has changed for many workplaces, read the article from Fortune here.
Etiquette expert Liz Aquino of the Good Manners Group has some dress code tips for successfully decoding the post-pandemic office dress code.
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