Get Squared or Get Fired

by Rachel Yeomans | September 8th, 2009   

Read what survey results say about corporate dress code as relayed through Nathan Toohey’s article in themoscownews:

The freewheeling days of come-as-you-please office dress codes may be coming to a close, as a newly released survey suggests that stricter requirements are becoming more common.

The issue came to a head in the blogosphere late last month when a set of corporate dress code guidelines, purportedly produced by a major local oil firm, were leaked to various online publications. The supposed GazpromNeft guidelines contained a vigorous set of dress and grooming standards for its female staff members. The PDF document – which can be viewed at – included a set of “international-based standards” such as a ban on above-the-knee skirts, low-cut or see-through blouses, and any cheap costume jewellery (although expensive costume jewellery was acceptable). The document forbade “long, unfastened hair” and even mandated the frequency of haircuts.

Picture1 Get Squared or Get Fired

The libertarian bloggers’ outrage may well just be a tempest in a teapot, however, as the oil company has denied the document was ever official.

GazpromNeft press spokeswoman Alla Sapun said by telephone that the document was created by a contractor as a potential set of dress code guidelines, but that they were never adopted by the company. “It was not accepted by GazpromNeft – it is not our dress code,” said Sapun.

Picture2 Get Squared or Get Fired

Dressing by numbers

While GazpromNeft’s actual dress code may not have been revealed, a recently conducted online poll by the recruitment site indicates that workplace dress codes are becoming more common.

Compared to 2007, twice as many respondents answered the question, “Do you have a dress code at your company?”, with “Yes, the dress style in our company is regulated by an internal standards documentation and is strictly enforced”. The percentage of respondents choosing that answer rose from 8 per cent to 16 per cent.

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Typical comments left by respondents ranged from “I would like a little more freedom” to “I consider that it is completely unfounded. It is one more reason that I don’t want to work in this place. They demand workers observe the dress code while at the same time sticking down the linoleum with sticky tape – its complete crap,” and “Our dress code was thought up by someone from head office who himself goes around in jeans, while the employees are dressed up like boy scouts.”

An almost corresponding drop was recorded in respondents who chose to answer: “Officially it is unregulated, but there exists tacit understanding
of what is expected to be followed,” which fell from 34 per cent to 27 per cent of respondents. “An official, office style of dress is usual at work,” was a typical comment left by such respondents.

Those who chose to answer that “there is no kind of dress code” and that they go to work in “whatever they fancy”, remained steady and was the most popular answer – at 36 per cent in 2007, compared to 35 per cent last year.

Picture12 Get Squared or Get Fired

Pictures from GazpromNeft PDF of International Guidelines