I am down here in Brazil this week visiting my people and management at Labs Latin America in Sao Leopoldo. One of the first things I noticed when I sat down at one of the break tables is this little placemat with all sorts of ‘stuff’ on it about Labs LA. One that jumped out at me is ‘No Dress Code’ Indeed, as I looked around later I noticed it more and more. There was a much more relaxed atmosphere here than in some of the other offices I have had the pleasure of visiting over the last couple of years. Nothing so blatant as the typical developer image people have of a T-shirt, shorts, socks and sandals…:) Everyone rather had a casual attire that seemed totally fitting, and although jeans were rampant…..they were what I would consider to be dress jeans rather than the typical wrangler or levi jeans with holes and worn spots everywhere.
The atmosphere down here is warm and seems conducive to sharing and innovation. I look at some of the survey results over the last 4-5 years and it appears as if Labs South America always seems to have excellent survey results. I would hesitate to say that the main reason is no dress code, but I would not hesitate to suggest that it may have a bearing on the results 🙂
Dressing in a suit is still ‘sharp’ and appearances and perception are still amongst the most influential areas that people are concerned with. Perhaps though some areas are finally begining to look past appearances and judge people based on what they can do rather than what they look like. I think it is time that a more balanced approach be taken….business casual is ok. When I think of some of the work I have done or my people do though…jeans would be much more appropriate and in some cases more economically feasible for some of us. I hate crawling under desks, behind racks, under raised floors or above tiles in the ceiling dressed in business casual. <shudder>