I recently read that businesses are considering enforcing a dress code upon their remote employees while they are working from home.1 When I saw this, I was utterly flabbergasted.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t think employees should wear sweatpants or pajamas on video conference calls. However, they should be allowed to wear whatever they darn well please the rest of the time.
I’ve heard all the hullabaloo about how “science and statistics say that people are more productive when they’re dressed for the job.” And yes, I do want you to read that in a Steve Urkel-esque voice while pushing your imaginary glasses up your nose. While I don’t necessarily disagree with this, I don’t outright agree either.
You might be wondering what makes me an authority on the subject. I have been working remotely since before it was cool. I know I sound like a hipster, so get over it. In my six years at CeSI, at least four of them have been remote work. I worked all the way in Indiana, which is three hours ahead of Seattle which is where CeSI is located. Yet, I was never once late for a phone or video call. Not to mention the fact that I was working full-time hours while getting my bachelor’s full-time. I am well versed in multi-tasking, working in 15-minute intervals, and functioning on four hours of sleep. Don’t tell my boss or my professors, but there were many times when I would work in class. Who needs taking notes when you’re an auditory learner anyways. Am I right?
Anyhow, I know what it’s like to have to live life and work remotely at the same time. I’m still doing it to this day! This is why you can’t tell me that all people are more productive when “they’re dressed for success.” Do you think I worked full-time and graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s of English which requires you to read over 2,000 pages a week all while dressed in slacks and a blazer? You’d be lucky if you even saw me in jeans.
I know I’m definitely not the only one who has other things going on in life outside of work, especially in 2020. If that means possibly sacrificing a measly five hypothetical minutes of productivity just so that employees can wear sweatpants and not lose their sanity, I say “bring on the Champion.”
Watch me take it one step further in my next article “Op-Ed: Work From Home Freedoms Vol. II.”
Mezzacca, Marc. “The Work Wardrobe: Analysis of Changes Since COVID-19.” Coupon Follow. Retrieved 2020-10-20.
Smith, Allen, J.D. (2020-09-29). “Dress-Code Policies Reconsidered in the Pandemic.” SHRM. Retrieved 2020-10-20.
Published professional essayist, poet, and short story author. Spoken and written French and Spanish. Dancer with experience and training in classical and contemporary ballet, modern, tap and liturgical.