I’m about to give you, my fellow knowledge worker, some amazing advice that can greatly improve your enjoyment of the work week, make you more productive, get you a promotion or a date (if you’re single)! Yeah, that’s right! All those things, and all you need is spend two minutes glancing over this article. :-)
You see on the East Coast, I worked in large corporations and the US federal government. Those places have a casual Friday tradition. Rumor has it that it started as Aloha Friday as a way to start relaxing for the up-coming weekend. Hey, you probably know all that already!
However, in the Bay Area, where I live now, the dress code (especially for software engineers) is very casual. Therefore, the casual Friday doesn’t make as much sense as in the offices of East Coast companies. When every day is casual, which day is the fun day? That’s right. Dressing in casual ALL THE TIME stops being fun! We don’t enjoy Fridays as much… and, with time, we even stop appreciating that we can wear shorts and a T-shirt every single work day.
What I suggest is a formal Monday rule which is the opposite of the informal Friday office tradition! This is easy and fun once you get into the habit (just 2–3 times!)… and, with the formal Monday rule, you’ll get the benefits of:
- Enjoying your casual Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday more
- Kick starting your week into the working mode without wasting any time (a psychological trick)
- Looking more professional and smarter (Hey, your boss might even think that you’re interviewing at another company and offer you a promotion!)
Plus, you’ll always have a topic for small talk (not the language) with your co-workers when you meet them in an elevator or the company kitchen. Everyone knows how important small talk can be in establishing relationships!
Remember that formal Mondays must be fun and easy, so don’t overdo them! If the common style in your office is jeans and startup T-shirts (free swag), don’t rush to get a three-piece suit—that’s overkill. Just wear pants and a polo shirt. If the style is pants and polo shirts, then get a dress-shirt and a tie (one of each will do). I think you get the idea. Just take it up a notch… and don’t be afraid of looking a bit different than your peers. That’s the fun part, right? So let your next Monday be formal Monday!
Microsoft MVP | Book and Course Author | Software Engineering Leader
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