Let staff decide what they should wear

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At one time, the cutting edge of accounting firm dress codes was to allow employees to go “business casual.” Then it was to allow them to wear casual clothes. Now, the leading firms in the profession aren’t telling staff what to wear at all: They’re letting them decide for themselves.

The vast majority of firms in the 2017 Best Firms to Work For have already moved business casual dress codes (usually with the option to “buy” the right to wear jeans on Friday through a donation to a firm-supported charity), and a quarter of them have moved beyond that to a casual dress policy – but a handful are experimenting with a relatively recent policy called “Dress for your day.”

At Best Firm Williams Benator & Libby in Atlanta, “The ‘Dress for your day’ policy allows associates working in the office to wear jeans everyday unless they will have client contact,” the firm reported. “Associates working at clients' offices may wear nice jeans on Fridays provided the clients also wear jeans on Fridays.”

Similarly, at Rudler in Ft. Wright, Ky., “Our dress for your day policy enables professionals to dress to the client, for comfort when working in the office, or to express their personalities.”

Beyond just allowing for a more comfortable work environment, the policy also expresses confidence in employees’ judgement by trusting them to know when they need to dress up, and when they can dress down.

For more ways to create a top workplace, see 20 Days: Building a Better Firm.

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