Dress down Friday, also known as casual Friday, started as a popular trend in America and Canada and is now being utilised in companies all over the world. On Fridays employees are allowed to wear attire that is more casual, some companies allow their members of staff to wear jeans, t-shirts and trainers. During the week business suits, ties and smart shoes are the norm.
The only problem arises when you have an important meeting with a client scheduled for a Friday. What do you do? Do you stick to your casual Friday attire or do you revert to the smart clothing you usually wear from Monday through to Thursday? If you opt for the former then could you risk looking unprofessional in front of an important client? But then again, if you opt for the latter won’t you stick out like a sore thumb? Let’s take a look at how to tackle this issue…
You need to look at it from the client’s point of view. You are holding an important meeting at one of your business’ serviced apartments. If you turn up in jeans and a t-shirt, what will they think? This is especially when the client is likely to have gone to the effort of looking smart themselves. You could always smile and say “oh, we have dress down Fridays here, hope you don’t mind.” But, surely looking smart without the explanation will work much better.
When you meet with a client you are a representation of your company. The way you act your manners and how you dress all help to form the individual’s view of your business. Do you want the client to see your company as smart and professional? Or do you want to be seen as if you don’t really care?
Not only this, but you need to consider the client’s level of comfort as well. You want them to feel at ease when you are conducting your meeting. If they come extremely overdressed in comparison to you, then that immediately sets the meeting off on the wrong foot. You and your client need to be on the same wavelength. When in doubt of the client’s business attire, traditional smart workwear is always the best route to go down.
But don’t worry; this does not mean that you have to sacrifice all of dress down Friday for the sake of a mere hour. You can always bring your casual clothing with you. Get changed afterwards and enjoy the rest of your day in comfortable clothing. All you need to do is bring a pair of jeans with you, get rid of the suit jacket and trousers and you immediately have a much different look.
And remember; the office you choose to host your meeting in is just as important too. You need somewhere that looks professional and will provide you with the privacy required. If you don’t have a suitable place in your offices then you can always hire a meeting room.
All in all, if you are facing the dilemma of a client meeting on dress down Friday, there is only one solution; wear smart business attire. You can sacrifice your comfort for an hour or two if it means satisfying a client. After all, you need to put your business in a good light, and casual clothing won’t do that.