Sunday, October 29, 2006

A life called Infosys - The Dress Code

The Dress code
I always found one aspect of Infy's policies amusing. This was regarding the Dress code. The HR gave us a suspect story line as a justification to the dress code. The dress code is simple yet discriminating. For gentlemen, Mondays and Tuesdays it is full business formals with Tie. On wednesdays and thursdays the tie is not required and they may opt for half sleeves. On fridays casuals are exceptable however shoes are a must and shorts are not allowed. Guys anyways do not have many options and such dress code restrictions only seek to further bring about the uniform look. The dress code for ladies accepted almost anything other than T-shirt and jeans as formal wear and that is applicable for the "Formal" days of the week. On fridays they may choose to wear pretty much any ladies wear under the sun (I guess mini skirts are excluded).

Having defined the dress code, I would like to bring out the fact that wearing a Tie while coding is like wearing a Hangman's knot to work. That's just my perspective though. The HR people would rather say that it makes us look like gentlemen and professional. Their story was that infoscions before introduction of the dress code were a pack of badly dressed geeks who made a mockery of the infosys brand in front of clients by their geekish dressing sense. They even quoted us some supposedly true story. Thus the dress code was introduced with an intention of turning us geeks into gentlemen and professionals. Interestingly during nearly 1.5 years that I spent at client site, I never had to wear a tie.

Funnily however the definition of dress code for ladies is so vague that almost any type of pants they wear below a western formal shirt is acceptable as a formal dress. I have even seen some of them wear jeans on mondays and it passes off as formals. Whereas for guys even wearing sports shoes on Mondays is considered an offence. If you ask me the origin of the dress code would lie somewhere in a tea time chat between two HR females. It would have been a conversation which could go like this
HR female 1 - "These software people look so damn dirty and intellectual in their green T shirt and muddy blue jeans."

HR female 2 - "Ohhh .. .my! They look so awful, but they are smart within aren't they. How else would they have cleared that aptitude test. I would find it difficult to clear it even with the cheat sheet in hand"

HRF1 - "Yeah.. that's true. The apti is tough, but then shouldn't smart people also look smart. I bet one of these guys will look like a real gentlemen in the correct formal clothes"

HRF2 - "Those black boots, those well creased shirts"

HRF1 - "Those smart ties. Like the complete man that appears in those grasim suitings advts"

HRF2 - "How about we get them to wear formals..."

HRF1 - "No way. These geeks won't do it. There is no way that we can convince one of them to change their dressing style"

HRF2 - "We can't .. but a dress code policy can"
So the conversation must have gone on for another half an hour and the rest of course, is history.

Having critisized the dress code at length, its time to see the bright side of it too.
1. It is easy to recognize infoscions on Mondays and Tuesdays and hence help hitch hike to office courtesy the infoscions who own Cars.
2. The gentlemen actually look gentlemen and the dirty green T shirts and muddy blue jean are unheard of in office.
3. After college it is exciting to dress up in formals on a daily basis.. at least till the paid vacation is on.
4. Most importantly .. This point is based on a true story. .. People appreciate your dressing sense.

Before I end this post, I have to elaborate on the true story just mentioned.
All through my college life, I have been considered as one of the worst dressed guys. Worst dressed is not a compliment but unfortunately I was too comfortable (read as Lazy) to change that. Thus when Infy dress code grew on me, I actually started wearing clean and decent clothes even on weekends. This transformation was more so because my wardrobe suddenly had a higher percentage of formals and even my choice in informals was now affected by a formal mindset. After several months in Infy I happened to meet some of my female class mates and for the first time they appreciated my dressing sense. I chose to bask in the glory of that compliment but I guess I owe that compliment to the Dress code.
Like it or hate it, I think the dress code is in Infy to stay.


  1. LOL..Its actually funny
    have you seed satire news also ripping apart this policy]