Topless telecommuting?

What would your reaction be if you started a video connection with a telecommuting colleague at his home only to discover he was not wearing a shirt?  Well, this happened to me not too long ago.  It was hot in one of my team member’s home office, so he opted to go shirtless that day.  This made me think (since I was his manager at the time), should this be allowed?  After all, had he been in the office that day, he certainly would not have done this, and indeed could not because, as with most companies of any size, we had a dress code.

What one does in the privacy of their own home is nobody’s business but theirs.  However, during business hours, and when other teammates or customers can see you, you better dress the part.  If you are planning to participate in a video link for work, this means comfortable business casual attire, at the very least. Everyone knows that telecommuters can easily fall into a casual pattern of working in pajamas or work-out clothes.  To me, this is perfectly acceptable.  It saves on the clothing bill and it can be a very comfortable way to work, and convenient for those 5 AM meetings with your Germany office. However, as video becomes more common in a business setting, telecommuters will need to dress as if they are in an office setting.  In a sense, the home office becomes a physical extension of the company spaces.

In any case, PLEASE people, dress appropriately when you are connected via video!

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