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PM Essence
Editor’s Note  
SoumenDe
Dear Friends,
 
Greetings from PMI Bangalore India Chapter!
 
The Maggi issue relentlessly continues to grab the headlines in recent times with claims and counter claims from Nestle and Government. Having survived my hostel and bachelor days with Maggi, I will definitely track this and discuss in this column after the “real truth” comes out. However another noteworthy event happened in recent past, when Vishal Sikka, Infosys CEO, asked their employees to do away with formals and dress more comfortably to work through the week. 
It was no surprise as Vishal himself loved wearing black tee and jacket. Infosys said that relaxing the dress code was one of the constant feedbacks from its employees. The provoking question becomes, does formal dress impede or enhance employees' productivity? Across America, company dress codes for employees are often very diverse. From one end of the spectrum where hemlines are measured, to telling employees, “You can wear anything, as long as you wear something,” companies certainly seem to be in disagreement over how
workplace attire affects productivity. Some contend that allowing casual dress encourages casual attitude, while the other side argues that as employees are allowed to dress more comfortably, their confidence and therefore their productivity will increase. PMBOK provides various approaches to boost team morale and productivity, but unsurprisingly does not mention dress down as a way to improve productivity. Mark Zuckerberg revealed he wears the same grey T-shirt and his signature hoodie over and over again because he wants to limit the time making "frivolous" decisions (like what to wear?) and concentrate on “real” work. Steve Jobs' attire of black mock turtleneck and blue jeans was as iconic as his products. Albert Einstein was reported to having bought several versions of the same grey suit because he didn't want to waste brainpower on choosing an outfit each morning. Can you tell your team to dress or overdress for success? I would say, “how we should dress must depend on which industry we are in, what role we are supposed to play, and what is our position in the hierarchy of the organization... one size will not fit all". Imagine this. Can we get a sense of satisfaction if a doctor renders his/her service wearing a printed T-shirt and Bermuda or a priest does a 'Aarti' (Hindu religious ritual of worship), wearing a fancy outfit. Research shows our alertness is affected by what we wear. When we wear something we prime the brain to behave in ways consistent with that meaning. Probably, that explains why an Army officer wears an awe inspiring uniform and a rock star wears a dazzling out-of-the-world attire when they are carrying out their professional commitment. We all want to be judged on our merits and not on workplace dress code. However, how we present ourselves does affect our professional capacity. Dress casual or formal? It ultimately depends on how others perceive us. How it affects our reputation? Ultimately, we are our best judge who can assess this and understand its impact of being more productive and get things done.
 
Happy Reading.
Thanks and Best Wishes,
Soumen De, PMP
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Technology Support : Sekar Parasuraman, PMP
Editorial Board
Murali Santhanam, PMP
Namita Gupta, PMP, PMI-ACP
Rama K, PMP, PMI-ACP
Shikha Vaidh, PMP, PMI-ACP
Soumen De, PMP
Sujata Sahu, PMP