Dress Code

Dress Code

Dress Code at Work

Major bank agrees to casual dress code for technical staff

Goldman Sachs has agreed to relax its usual dress code of formal business dress, but only for technology and computer engineering staff. The casual dress code has been commonplace in specialist IT companies for many years, but staff who work in the IT functions of professional organisations have usually had to wear the same formal business dress as all other staff.

The move is thought to have been prompted by concerns that Goldman, and other financial institutions, are failing to attract suitably skilled IT staff. Attracted by their more relaxed dress code, the most talented techies are choosing to work for IT companies instead.

Goldman’s Chief Information Officer Elisha Wiesel did however warn the bank’s IT staff to consider when more professional attire might be appropriate, by saying:

“Please exercise judgment in determining when to adapt to business attire as circumstances dictate, particularly if you have a client meeting.”

Around a quarter of Goldman’s 33,000 staff are employed in IT and related functions, as investment banks seek to stay ahead of the competition by developing new technological innovations.

A similar ruling was made by JPMorgan Chase in 2016 – its IT staff can also now dress down.

It remains to be seen how the other staff at Goldman will react. Will they recognise that there are special reasons as to why IT staff may be allowed to dress more casually, or will they too start calling for a relaxed dress code?

Make sure you understand your own company’s dress code, and what is acceptable attire at work and what isn’t. Some companies might demand formal business dress on all days, others might allow dressing down on Fridays, and some might allow a ‘smart casual’ dress code.

A good rule of thumb is: if one morning you are in doubt about whether a particular item is suitable for the office, don’t put it on, and wear something smarter instead. Smarter dress will almost always be required if you have a meeting with a client or someone from another organisation.

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