IT dress code to phase out geek wear

Ponytails, brown sandals and the much-loved penguin t-shirts are out as organizations move to raise the dress code in IT departments.

Media reports about the introduction of a dress code for IT staff at the Australian Stock Exchange Ltd. (ASX) is not an isolated incident but part of a growing trend to formalize the IT work environment.

The director of analyst firm Hydrasight, Michael Warrilow, said a number of large organizations in Australia have introduced similar dress standards to integrate IT into the rest of the business.

“The funky, cool dress code of the late 1990s is out and I expect more organizations to follow the ASX lead,” Warrilow said.

“Active resistance to a dress code by some techies shows an IT culture that isn’t aligned with the business; why should the rest of the business wear suits and ties?”

According to media reports, ASX Chairman Maurice Newman has introduced a dress code for techies, a move that has upset many in the IT department which has always maintained a casual environment.

However, the ASX was unwilling to detail the dress code or elaborate on how it is enforced with a spokesperson claiming the organization didn’t comment on internal policy.

First Data Corp. network implementations Senior Manager Craig Douglas said there has to be a degree of sensibility when it comes to dress standards in the workplace.

“Our IT staff are expected to look smart or business casual. We certainly don’t expect people turning up in grunge jeans or torn t-shirts,” Douglas said.

“This dress code has been in place for years and there are some exceptions. For example, its okay to wear jeans and t-shirt during a major install.”

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