While Mark Zuckerburg has made wearing hoodies and T-shirts to the office each day chic, new research shows most IT professionals won't be looked upon as favorably for sporting such attire.
A study by Robert Half Technology revealed that more than three in four chief information officers said the way someone dresses influences his or her chances for a promotion within the organization's IT department.
Refuting the myth that IT departments are overly casual, the survey found that 66 percent of CIOs have a dress code in their department that requires employees wear somewhat formal attire, such as dress slacks or a skirt and button-down shirt.
"Increasingly, IT team members and managers must interact with executives across the company, the board, customers and strategic partners," said John Reed, senior executive director for Robert Half Technology. "Image does matter, and you're not likely to be taken as seriously in these interactions if you're wearing unprofessional attire."
Robert Half Technology advises IT employees ask themselves several questions when trying to dress for success at the office:
- Would managers in the IT department at my company wear this? If the answer is no, you probably shouldn't wear it either.
- Is it distracting or potentially offensive? Unless you work for a political action committee or advocacy group, shirts or accessories with political, religious or controversial messages are best left at home.
- Is it clean and in good condition? Clothes that are torn, wrinkled or stained should be left at home. Sloppy attire may prompt your manager to wonder how serious you are about your job.
- Is it comfortable? Relaxed clothing is important for IT professionals, especially those spending long hours writing code, or who are in more active roles such as repairing hardware. Dress for your position, but make sure you can move comfortably.
The study was based on surveys of 1,400 CIOs from companies with 100 or more employees.