I’ve never really thought of myself as a trend setter. I might be original (loud, outgoing solicitors are not that common on the networking scene) and I may be unusual (litigators who like to avoid court are not the norm) but that’s quite different from leading the way.
Today, however, I found out that I am, in fact, setting trends in, of all areas, clothing!
This has nothing to do with L K Bennett who, as many of you will know is my favourite store, and I’m grateful for all the messages of condolence I’ve received recently following the news that they may soon be disappearing from our high street (sobs quietly). It is, however, closely related to office attire.
The concept of dress down Friday is nothing new, and like many businesses, we encouraged people to dress casually as a Friday treat. Some years ago, before we had the benefit of being in our own, wonderful, state of the art office, with our own, wonderful, state of the art air conditioning we were in serviced offices, where the air conditioning was, well, less than state of the art. In fact, it was just in a right state! So, when the weather suddenly turned very hot, we had the bright idea of having a week long dress down Friday. At the end of the week, when the weather became a little cooler, it occurred to us that we didn’t need to go back to the old ways. We could have a “dress appropriately for your day” policy, which I’d tell you was the best thing that we ever did, if it wasn’t for the fact that I don’t get to dress down nearly as much as my team, as I’m the one most likely to be going out to networking events, lunches and drinks – it’s a tough job but someone’s got to do it.
From what I’ve seen, most traditional institutions like banks and law firms have not been following suit (!) In fact, a colleague of mine told me that at a previous firm, the partners wouldn’t speak to him unless he had his jacket and tie on!!! However, I’m delighted to report that word of our great success on creating a great working environment has obviously spread. I hear that Goldman Sacks has decided to copy our great idea and is now encouraging their staff to dress more casually.
To all the trend setters and trail blazers out there, I salute you.
To all of you who have struggled through the daily commute in traditional work clothes, only to spend your day in badly ventilated and heated offices, my sympathies. Feel free to leave this blog lying around in the hope that some of your managers might read it and take action.
To the managers who haven’t seen the benefits of relaxed offices, complete with flexi hours and the ability to work from home, come and have a coffee with us some time (we have a state of the art coffee machine too!) and we’ll happily share our ideas with you.
Kleyman & Co Solicitors. The full service law firm. For work, rest and play!