Not all call centers have a business casual dress code, but many do and for good reason as far as I am concerned.
Dressing for success is usually a big topic and a big struggle for call centers. I have worked for call centers that demand a professional dress code at all times, I have also worked for call centers that require no dress code whatsoever. But the most appealing call centers that I have worked for have had a business casual dress code, with occasional "casual days" allowed.
Let me tell you why I think a business casual dress code works for call centers.
If a call center expects an employee to adhere to a professional business dress code wearing suits and ties and dresses everyday, they better be willing to pay corporate wages. Not only is it expensive to uphold a strictly professional wardrobe, but employees tend to become resentful when they feel like they are giving more than they are receiving in return.
On the other hand, when a call center requires no dress code and everyone comes to work dressed as they please, a sense of value is taken away from the job.
It is true that dressing for success really does put you in a successful mind frame, I know this from experience.
Now when a call center implements a business casual dress code and holds everyone in the call center accountable for the way they present themselves, a lot of good can come of it.
Not only are employees feeling successful and contributing to a workplace of success, but they can wear clothes that are comfortable and not have to feel like they are being pushed into a dress code that doesnt suit them or cause them to spend more money than they are making to keep the dress code up.
After all, a business casual dress code doesnt mean wearing a suit and tie or wearing power suits and dresses everyday. It means looking professional but in a casual way.
Nice pants of any kind, skirts, colored shirts, or any shirt without designs on them are usually considered part of a business casual dress code. This isnt something that is hard to conform to for the average employee, so this dress code will usually work out for the best interest of both the employees and the employer.
The question of why a call center would even have a dress code may be playing on some of your minds, and its really a good question.
In my experience, there are many reasons a call center would enforce some type of dress code for employees.
If a call center works for clients that visit the call center whether on scheduled visits or infrequent drop ins, they want to make sure the impression made is a good one. They want their clients to know they are doing business with a professional company, not entrusting customer information to a bunch of hoodlums wearing ripped jeans and piercings all over their faces.
Having a dress code creates a presentable atmosphere for corporate employees who may frequent a call center, and it is simply good business practice for a call center to engage in.
Most importantly from my point of view as a call center employee, is what a business casual dress code can do for employees. It helps create and maintain a positive morale for the call center in general, let alone for each individual working for the company. There is nothing like waking up in the morning and starting your day with a cup of your favorite coffee while feeling presentable to the world as a contributing worker in the community. While an employee doesnt need to be dressed to the T for these personal success feelings to surface, a good business casual look will surely do the trick.
Like I mentioned earlier on, I have had experiences in all three types of work environments, and it is truly amazing the difference the all around attitude is in each different environment.
While the call centers I have worked for with no dress codes offered fun jobs that paid the bills, there was definitely a sense of a dead end. There were no goals in place for employees, no opportunities for advancement, no feeling of being successful in your day to day job. It was just a job, nothing special about it, and nothing that made me want to continue a long term working relationship with the company.
While on the other end of the spectrum, working at a call center with a strict business dress code in place was just plain stressful for me. People constantly complained, and many people were forced to wear a lot of the same things which made them feel more useless than anything. It isnt cheap to keep up a strict business dress code especially when you arent being paid the corporate wages.
Lets face it. Working at a call center doesnt make you rich, but it is a good honest and reliable way to make a living. On top of the complaints, resentful employees refused to comply with dress code regulations, and were sometimes overlooked because the demand to have agents working on the phones was higher than the demand for dress code compliance.
It simply creates a snowball effect that ends up affecting the entire company negatively.