Is there such a thing as a Covid dress code? I know it sounds like a trick question but hear me out. On my way to pick up the kids at school, I was on a call with my HR advisor about recruitment support. As I parked the car, she mentioned Melbourne Fashion Festival that just happened (not to be mistaken with Fashion Week). I decided to walk around the school grounds to stretch my legs and put in my exercise minutes. And then it hit me: there were several other parents who were practically my clones! They were talking on the phone, in our new covid dress code. We had our game face on, ironed business shirts paired with..workout leggings, with either sneakers or thongs. It’s the new school pick up trend!
With remote working and the hybrid model going strong, we have gotten used to showing up looking as if we’d dress up for the office from the waist up. Now, I’m not saying that every parent at my kids’ school is an HR consultant like me (that would be bizarre!) but we somewhat showed up the same way. I imagine some of them are just about ready to change their top and hit the Peloton as soon as they get home. Me? I have a dog to walk.
One of my employees believes that the upside of Covid is that she has adopted a healthier lifestyle than before. She now has a plethora of healthy recipes from wellness gurus and the likes, doing mini stretches at the desk with an exercise app, has a stash of wellness supplements and consistently discovering new shampoos to make up for legit lockdown locks of the past. She identifies with the office wear waist-up syndrome and feels guilty when she skips exercising whilst wearing her Nike leggings “to the office”.
If the growing trend of covid dress code spills over from mere comfort factor to actually motivate you to exercise, perhaps we are practicing a healthier lifestyle to a degree. Wholesome HR management often translates to managing challenging times. Exercising—to me at least— has really done wonders when it comes to mental health. It takes the pain away.
You may not equate the above with exercising but that’s where I’m heading to. If you find yourself intrigued but not quite ready to commit to an exercise regime, I don’t blame you. It is hard and yes, can be uncomfortable. First it can be challenging, and your muscles may be sore the following day. You’re not sure if you’re doing more harm or more good. My suggestion is simple: Start a wellness program at your workplace. Our HR consultants have helped many SMB leaders connect with a wellness coach to boost employee morale, culture and mindset. It is a great incentive to get your team back into the office.
I wish I had a crystal ball to tell me what’s the next trend going to be. But if I were to manifest something, I really hope that business leaders and employees alike can indeed go to the office “with both types of outfits”. I mean, do bring a change of appropriate outfits, but wouldn’t it be nice if you can head to real-life meetings and then hop into stretch hour. Here’s to having your face on, ironed business shirts, yoga pants and my favourite sneakers that never fail me.
LMHR offers HR consultancy services. We work with small and medium business owners to deliver results in Sydney, nationwide and overseas. If you need expert guidance in confirming your company’s hybrid model, remote working policy and setting up wellness programs in the office, we can help. HR can be painful. We do the heavy lifting, so you can focus on running the show. Get help now. Contact us today.