Somehow, Casual Fridays spilled backward into other days of the week and Fridays became even more casual. Button down shirts gave way to polos and casual slacks gave way to blue jeans. The degree of change obviously varied by industry and work role, but the casual trend was unmistakable.
I must admit that, when I left the corporate world many years ago, I didn't miss wearing a coat and tie to work every day. I felt more comfortable without that tie around my neck all of the time. Now wearing one is confined to special occasions, so it actually feels good to put one on occasionally.
The other thing I've noticed is that language and conversation seem to have become steadily more casual, and definitely more spontaneous, along with the trend toward casual workplace attire. E-mails and text messages have "dressed down" the degree of thought that goes into many communications. As a result, there is greater tendency for miscommunication, since intent is often lost.
Is there a correlation between how you look and how effectively you communicate? Surely there can be a correlation between how you look and how others perceive you. "Casual" can still be sharp-looking, just as informal language can be used quite clearly; they can both decline to something less than desirable, however, without proper thought and attention to detail.
So imagine my surprise when I discovered one of our newer employees, financial analyst Alex Cato-Crier, who decided to cap off a productive work week and set the tone for the weekend with a distinctive dressed-up look. He proclaimed "Formal Fridays" as his way to express a sharp and professional attitude. I think the bow tie looks great on him!
Trends have to begin somewhere. Has Alex started something here that will catch on with others? Will casual weekdays now build toward Formal Fridays? Only time will tell!