Many workplaces are adopting a business casual dress code as a perk and to make the work environment more comfortable for the employees. After all, if you’re not interfacing with a customer, why should you wear a shirt and tie or a jacket to sit in your cubicle all day and write code or answer the phone?
Here is the situation: Your company is short-handed and has been on a hiring blitz. After interviewing a dozen potentials, your boss hires someone who is coming in today. This person comes in with a 3-day beard around his full goat-tee, a plain blue t-shirt (not listed as unallowable), and slacks that have the inseam hanging down somewhere just above his knees. You hope he just moved from out of state and has been living out of his suitcase in a hotel and can’t find his Norelco. The next day, it’s more of the same sloppy, but piece-allowable clothes. As the days go on, it becomes clear that he shaves once per week and does not own a single collared shirt, not even a polo.
What do you do when you lose professionalism at the office? Most corporate dress codes are very specific about “what not to wear,” but what is often missing is a standard of how to wear it, or what things should be avoided by certain people. Here is a for-example that I found that attempts to describe what is inappropriate in the “spirit of business casual:”
In all circumstances, business casual wear means clean, neat and professional clothing. It is never appropriate to wear stained, frayed, wrinkled or revealing clothing to the workplace.
Your new co-worker isn’t breaking any dress code rules, but he is a slob, in the very essence of the term. Yet he is allowed to get away with it because he is abiding by the company policy. What do you do?