INTHEBLACK July 2021 - Flipbook - Page 64
F E AT U R E
// D R E S S C O D E S
Left: Paul Luczak CPA, The Gild Group.
Above: Sarah Lawrance FCPA, Hot Toast.
Luczak says it’s as simple as looking to
your clients and deciding what they’d be
most comfortable with.
It is also about considering what types
of talent you would like to attract into your
business. Luczak says he is interested in
“high-performance, entrepreneurial, SMEloving people who want to work with very
dynamic brands”. The business’s dress code
helps, in its own small way, to bring them in.
Carfi recommends approaching your
clients and asking them what they expect
in terms of dress code. More than a few
partners in large accounting firms have
bemoaned Casual Fridays, because they say
clients are sometimes mildly shocked by the
fashions they witness. Those organisations
and others would benefit from allowing
client feedback to help guide their dress
“You wouldn’t wear a bikini to a funeral,”
Carfi says. “It’s important that all staff
always wear what clients feel is appropriate.”
The challenge comes, says Lawrance, when
you are doing business across cultures. She
says colleagues from across the Asia-Pacific
tend to dress formally even though they are
working from home.
64 ITB July 2021
“TRACK SUIT PANTS AND
SLIPPERS WILL NEVER BE
APPROPRIATE, BUT WHY
WOULDN’T WE TAKE STEPS
TO ENSURE STAFF ARE
AS COMFORTABLE AS
POSSIBLE? IT MAKES
SENSE TO TALK ABOUT THIS
RIGHT NOW, SINCE THE
PANDEMIC HAS PAVED
DR LORINDA CRAMER,
AUSTRALIAN CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY
“Some regions are a little bit more
conservative, so it’s important to always
remain aware and respectful, even if it’s just
a Zoom meeting,” she says.
NEW DECADE, NEW RULES?
The remote working environment has
introduced a different dimension to
appropriate workplace attire.
“I think for your traditional accounting
practices, where suits and ties are worn, that
has introduced significant changes,” Luczak
says. “I’ve noticed quite a bit of a change
in how people present themselves in video
meetings. People who are usually in a suit
jacket are now in a T-shirt.”
Growing awareness of climate change, as
well as supply interruptions caused by the
pandemic, means trends and fashions are
also likely to change as individuals seek out
“slow fashion”, Carfi says.
“People are going to smaller designers, and
discovering local brands, and getting to know
those designers and discussing the outfits
with them,” Carfi says.
“Technology means people are able to
personalise their clothing and order shoes in
a unique colour. Fashion is becoming more
fluid and based less on annual collections.
Much of this is a result of changed
behaviours around the pandemic.”
Most significantly, Cramer believes
the working-from-home and video-call
experience has shown us that people
work very well, in some cases even more
effectively, in casual clothing.
“In 2020, I saw colleagues wearing things
that surprised me, but at the same time I
knew they were doing the same amazing
work they always did,” Cramer says.
“It’s possible that slightly more casual
clothing, looser-fit tailoring and lighter
fabrics that are better for the heat will
become more acceptable in offices.
“Now is the perfect time for these
conversations to be had, about what people
wear to the office and whether it should
change. Track suit pants and slippers will
never be appropriate, but why wouldn’t we
take steps to ensure staff are as comfortable
as possible? It makes sense to talk about this
right now, since the pandemic has paved