No matter where you are, it can be hot in the summertime. As temperatures rise, dress codes tend to become a little more interpretive. But how do you balance comfort and professionalism in your workplace? If you want to give your team more freedom this summer but still hit the mark, here are some things to consider for creating a summer dress code.
The first step is to consider your company culture. Not all dress codes are created equal, and the environment and job duties will likely inform what your employees should wear. For example, a dress code will be very different in an industrial workplace than in a finance role. And if you have multiple departments under one roof, you may be unable to make a unilateral dress code, so you’ll need to be more specific.
Some employers encourage their team to wear branded clothing, and you can help by providing comfortable options for warm weather. For example, if your typical dress code includes button-down shirts, consider offering access to polo shirts with the company logo. For your warehouse employees, provide t-shirts in the summer and even sweatshirts for the winter.
Footwear can be problematic for many companies in the summer. It’s hot, so people want bare feet or flip-flops. While that’s fine at home or on a beach vacation, you shouldn’t wear them to work for many reasons. It’s a safety issue in your warehouse, so you want to enforce close-toed shoes. You might have some flexibility for the office, but be specific about what you allow.
Shorts are also popular in the summer but may not be appropriate for the workplace. If you can allow them, you may want to have rules on the style or length. For women, gone are the days when nylons were expected, but you can focus on professionalism with the wardrobe.
The most important thing you can do is establish written guidelines about your summer dress code. The specifics will depend on your environment or industry, but you have to ensure everyone on staff knows what’s expected of them and how to commit to the requirements.