Telework, heat wave: towards a relaxation in the clothing of employees?


Under the double effect of repeated heatwaves and teleworking, employees aspire to more relaxed outfits.

Spring is not yet over as 35 degrees have been exceeded in many regions in France. A particularly early heat wave that pushes some employees to swap their work clothes for Bermuda shorts and a pair of flip-flops. A temptation all the more present with the generalization of teleworking, more than one have become accustomed to casual outfits. In the future, could suits and suits stay in the closet?

The halo under the arms in maintenance does not do it»Laughs yellow Yves *, recruitment officer in a home help agency in Marseille. The young employee would like to dress in a lighter way to avoid these inconveniences, but his company does not allow it: “I must respect the internal regulations so no shorts, sneakers, jeans and t-shirt»He explains, annoyed. The home agency that employs her is keen to preserve her image of seriousness and professionalism that she said was deteriorating too relaxed.

“People come as they are”

Constraints that Julian, a system optimization engineer, does not know. In the start-up where he works, the question of work attire simply does not arise. “People come as they are»Shares the young man who had not even noticed that his colleague was wearing shorts. In his company, the 13 employees are all under 30, which would explain a certain flexibility in clothing. Despite everything, some red lines remain: “still not flip-flops “ considers the engineer.

A relaxation in some profiles

For Jeanne, human resources manager in the medical technology sector, a “relaxation“On the dress code is observed especially in”some teams“, Especially among profiles”Tech, IT“Who for a long time have not hesitated to come to”sweat, limit jogging“. A relaxation that teleworking has accentuated, according to the manager, “everyone says it openly in the teams, behind their screens, people are in shorts“. However, if certain freedoms are taken by employees, the hierarchical superiors for their part, keep the more classic outfits “at the headquarters in Levallois, nothing changes»Observes Jeanne.

SEE ALSO – Misconception: “Employees are less efficient at teleworking”

Customer report and internal regulations

Could employers who would be annoyed by this loosening fire a particularly stubborn employee? Strictly speaking, there is no law prohibiting the wearing of shorts or flip-flops at work, but it is in practice that things get complicated. Contrary to the entrepreneurial freedom often invoked by employers, “dressing is not a fundamental freedom»Explains Master Eva Touboul. For the lawyer specializing in labor law, two elements are decisive in this type of case: “it is necessary check the employee’s relationship with customers and see what the internal regulations may specify“.

For a salesperson, inappropriate attire can affect a customer’s confidence and therefore have a strong impact on the productivity of the company. As for the internal regulations, these are normally signed by the employee with the employment contract. More simply, to take no risk vis-à-vis her employer and better understand the spirit of jurisprudence, Eva Touboul invites employees to ask themselves this question “eWill my outfit harm the image of the company?“. A question that leaves plenty of room for interpretation and that employees can ask themselves at leisure when they leave for work.

* At the request of the interviewees, the first names have been changed.

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