Until last week, if an Infosys employee came to the office wearing casual dress, he would be fined. That rule has now been trashed. In an email sent to employees this week, Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka has told them that he would no longer insist that they should come to the office in formal attire.
“Your favorite pair of jeans teamed with that t-shirt you love can now be worn every day, going forward,” Sikka said. The removal of a required dress code must have delighted the company’s 175,000 employees worldwide.
The CEO’s letter confirms that he was under tremendous pressure from employees to remove the dress code. “This was a change that many of you had voiced and requested on various platforms, so we are really excited that it is official now!” he wrote.
Dress code is strictly followed in every other IT services firm across the country. Under their dress code, all employees have to wear professional wear through the week and are only allowed to wear casual attire on Fridays.
But the removal of a dress code at Infosys, which has long been regarded as the ‘bellwether’ of the Indian IT industry, does not mean that employees can come to the office wearing just anything. “We believe that each of you is empowered to make the right decision and dress in a way that will make Infosys proud,” concludes Sikka.
Whether this is the start of a larger trend across the industry remains to be seen. In Wipro, according to some employees at the company’s headquarter in Bangalore, women employees were often sent back home for having come in mini-skirts. “Skirts are too short to wear,” the bosses would comment.
According to some senior IT professionals, wearing mini-skirts and noodle straps was banned in 2006. At Infosys, male employees had to come to work wearing a tie at least thrice a week.
Most of the outsourcing firms are of the belief that employees in casual wear look too young and unprofessional.
“I worked in a technology company as a software development intern. At the end of the internship, my manager praised me for my technical and communication skills, however, he said I should pay more attention to what I wear,” writes a female software professional on an Internet chat room.