IELTS Writing Task 2: Dress codes
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In the past, there were strict guidelines about how people should dress for work, but in recent times dress codes seem to have been relaxed.
Is this a positive or negative development?
In my opinion, the relaxation of the dress code at work is a worrying development. Although it goes without saying that employers should prioritise the quality of their staff’s performance, I think that dressing smartly at work is essential and I will outline my reasons below.
The main reason why employers need to pay more attention to the way their staff dress is because casual clothes give a very bad first impression of the company, whereas formal clothes convey an image of respectability and trustworthiness, two qualities which are important in so many professions that involve face-to-face interaction with members of the public. One illustration of this is in the banking sector. It is the responsibility of a manager to ensure that customers feel confident that their money is in safe hands. A smart suit suggests that if the staff care about their appearance then they will take care of your investment too.
On the other hand, just because someone dresses well, it does not necessarily guarantee that they are good at their job, and vice versa. In my workplace for example, the best teachers are often the ones that care more about how to teach well than how to dress well, and their students never seem to notice what they are wearing. There are also many creative professions where trendy clothes convey a sense of style and individuality, which is very desirable in many companies.
To conclude, an employee’s ability to perform well in their job has to be the highest priority in any profession. However, the need to dress smartly and appropriately should also be an important consideration in many workplaces. Personally, if I was paying large amounts of money to a teacher in flip-flops who looked as if they had just got up, I would have serious concerns about that person’s attitude towards their work and their ability to teach me effectively.
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A YouTube Academic English presentation about gender inequality in relation to dress codes.