Casual Friday – Bad for Business?


Not at MTS!
Happy Friday everyone.

Ask any working professional what their favorite day of the week is, and the majority of the answers will be; FRIDAY! It marks the end of a hectic work week and the beginning of a much needed weekend. At MTS Casual Friday has been a part of our work week since the company was founded in 2000, and it is something the whole team looks forward to. The Turkish lunch that is served every Friday might play a “minor” part in that, but there is something about the casual dress code that boosts employee moral.

A survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management in 2006 said that six in ten employers allowed a dress-down day at least once a week.

Those who stick with the formal business attire all week argue that a casual day results in poor work performance and “slacking”, meanwhile the 60% that go casual once a week have different a view on the issue. Some say a relaxed environment encourages creative thinking and workers are more focused on work. Personally I would argue that it prevents absenteeism and increases productivity on a day where most “suits” are sitting on the edge of their chair waiting for it to hit 5’o clock.

Like most issues regarding an office environment, there are pro’s and con’s in allowing a casual day at the office. Many employers are having a hard time adopting dress-code policies that encourage both productivity and professionalism. Maybe the issue doesn’t lie in what to include in the policy, but in the policy itself. Don’t get me wrong, I know there are many cases where people take it way too far. There are always going to be extreme cases where someone does not have a compass as to what is appropriate. Does that mean that a casual Friday should have guidelines? Doesn’t that take the casualness out of it?

Trusting your employees to use good judgment is essential to develop and maintain a loyal and dedicated work team. So by calling it Casual Friday, yet providing a list of “Don’ts” you are basically saying that “You can be comfortable on our terms, not your own”. There should always be room for self-expression at work, even in the most traditional “old school” corporations. The question should not be where you draw the line, but do you draw a line at all? The dilemma arose from the confusion generated by business casual standards. The two words contradict each other, and some employees are left puzzled with questions like; Are sleeveless dresses allowed? What about tennis shoes and shorts? Mini skirts? Flip flops? Hoodies? Sweatpants??

When did people stop using their common sense, and start needing a guideline for what feels right and wrong to wear at the office? You know your industry and your corporate culture, and that knowledge alone should leave you qualified to answer any of the above questions. No casual dress-code policy needed.


  • Do you think that one needs to establish “ground rules” for Casual Friday?
  • Has anyone in your office ever crossed the line from casual to “come on, really??!”?
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Lauga Oskarsdottir
Lauga is originally from Iceland, and is our Sales and Marketing Executive. She has been with MTS since May 2011. Lauga has experience as a Sales Manager for a large fitness corporation in Oslo, Norway before she moved to New York in 2009, where she obtained a Bachelors Degree in Business Management at Berkeley. Fun Fact: Lauga played professional soccer for 5 years in Norway, and also played for the Icelandic National Team as a goalkeeper! She played two seasons for the Berkeley College mens team, as their starting goalie and was awarded the Most Valuable Player of the season in 2010.