Whilst HR experts agree that rules governing workplace dress codes have changed and are largely dependent on industry/sector, the majority opinion is that employees should look professional in order to be taken seriously, irrespective of where, when or why.

Concepts such as virtual businesses and mobile professionals are indicative of a vastly different workplace environment, say HR experts at Accsys, a national supplier of management solutions within HR, payroll administration, time and attendance and access control.
HR and people management specialists at the company say that whilst technology and adaption to global trends have largely replaced more traditional management styles and rules – including dress codes – professional presentation is still relevant.
The consensus is that first impressions still count, irrespective of whether a service provider is building a Web site or an office block.
Teryl Schroenn, CEO at Accsys, says it would be fair to say that for the most part, the corporate sector has become more relaxed in terms of a formal dress code at work.
“It is very much dependent on the type of business and nature of the industry. For example, it is not uncommon for IT, advertising or media companies to take a less conservative approach to dress and presentation. However, employees within the financial or legal markets, for example, are obliged to adhere to more formal wear,” says Schroenn.
Management at Accsys believes that although the advent of technology has influenced opinion as to what is considered respectable and suitable attire, the truth is that any employee that wishes to be taken seriously must dress appropriately.
“In an ideal world, workers would be evaluated strictly on their personalities, their skills and what they contribute to a business. The reality is that people are also judged on appearance and how they conduct themselves – our view is that job seekers and those wanting to establish themselves in their careers of choice need to pay more attention to this,” Schroenn adds.
Accsys says that as a rule, companies have codes and guidelines in place that prescribe what should be worn to work. Transgressions should be handled appropriately and it is in everybody’s best interest that whatever action is taken makes sense and is rationale.
“If a person’s attire is completely unsuitable or inappropriate, management can ask that person to go home and change and return to work. Should there be consistent and blatant disregard for dress codes by an individual, the usual disciplinary steps and relevant channels should apply,” says Schroenn.