Summertime is here again, and temps are heating up. As the temperature rises, businesses could see a wave of beach attire like flip-flops and snug tops make their way into the office. The heat and an overly relaxed wardrobe could have some employees swimming in a sea of vacation and summer-fun daydreams that could affect productivity at work. If your employee’s workplace summer attire starts looking more like a day at the beach than a day at the office, it may be time to re-enforce your dress code.
Before your company’s casual Fridays turn into beach-bum weekdays, here are some typical workplace attire issues you may face in the summer and tips to address them.
If the shoe doesn’t fit.
Flip-flops are a beach must, but their casual appearance makes them an office don’t. Unless your office is poolside like a lifeguard’s, flip-flops are generally not appropriate to wear to work. Their tendency for slips, spills, and falls also make them a workplace safety hazard. And, businesses that operate equipment and heavy machinery should be particularly wary of allowing any employee to wear flip-flops – or other open-toed shoes like sandals – to work.
If an employee walks into work with flip-flops on, breaking company dress code, request that they return home and change into safer and more fitting shoes. With the different styles and types of flip-flops, it can be tricky to distinguish some, but just remember to be consistent and stick to your no-flip-flop policy with every employee.
The mystery of the Bermuda shorts – and other shockingly bad wardrobe choices.
In the summertime, some employees may interpret casual days to mean anything goes. So, they show up to work in their favorite short shorts, tank tops, or vacation T-shirts with inappropriate slogans and sayings. Or worse, some may come to work with their bathing suits underneath their clothing.
If an employee’s attire isn’t appropriate for work and the offense is obvious, consider sending the employee home to change. Otherwise, pull the offending employee aside to explain the dilemma and request that they not wear that type of clothing in the future.
The short of it.
Hemlines have moved up and down from year to year with the changes in women’s fashion, but in the summertime, women – and sometimes men – are more likely to wear tighter and shorter clothing. Revealing clothing is not suitable for business settings. It may be uncomfortable, but when an employee wears clothing that is not in line with company policy, it should be addressed.
Dealing with wardrobe issues at work can be difficult, but by establishing a precedent that employee attire must adhere to your stated policy standards no matter what the heat index, you will prevent future issues from arising. So, make sure you communicate and enforce your company’s policy with your entire team in the summertime and all year round.