Dressing for success has taken on new meaning at Friedman LLP. Employees of the Top 50 accounting and advisory firm now have a range of options when it comes to dressing for the workplace and client engagements.
The firm’s “Dress for the Day” policy, which took effect on May 1, encourages employees to tailor their style to the day-to-day demands of office and client engagements. Office attire can range from business appropriate jeans (when no meetings are scheduled) to using “judgement” for jeans, business casual or business professional attire (when internal meetings are scheduled). When seeing clients, the policy allows employees to take a “when in Rome” approach and follow the dress code or standards at the client’s workplace.
“In crafting the new standards, management took care to ensure Friedman’s own culture is reflective of how our clients approach their business and how we value our employees’ personalities,” said Lindsay Gaal, director of Human Resources at Friedman.
There are common-sense standards in place. Employees are asked to avoid torn or “distressed” jeans, flip-flops or deck shoes, t-shirts or “revealing” attire. Collared shirts for men are encouraged, especially paired with a sweater, as are blouses and cardigans for women. Untucked shirts are a definite “don’t.” Professional staff, managers and partners are asked to keep suits and other professional attire on hand for impromptu meetings with new or prospective clients or networking opportunities.
“On the heels of our recently announced Alternative Work Arrangement program, which allows employees to craft work hours that best suit their needs, our Dress for the Day policy reflects the sensibility of the modern workplace,” said Harriet Greenberg, co-managing partner at Friedman. “This new policy, which resulted from employee feedback, allows a more relaxed atmosphere internally without affecting the seriousness and high quality of services our clients expect,” added co-managing partner Fred Berk.
The Alternative Work Arrangement program, implemented in January 2017, introduced scheduling flexibility during “busy season” weekends and revised the firm’s core hours to 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The program also formalized the process for employees to craft individualized work schedules. Employees can make up business hours spent on child/elder-care or other personal obligations during evenings or weekends, providing synchronization between professional responsibilities and unique personal or family circumstances.