Where have all the ties gone?

A blue tie - ©iStockphoto.com/terexLast week I attended a computer trade fair, and was almost shocked to see that during the first presentation, I was the only member of the audience wearing a tie!

It certainly got me thinking.  Many people had turned up in casual dress, and others were wearing a suit with a waistcoat, but without a tie.  During the rest of the day I observed that most of the people in the hall with a tie were actually working on one of the stands.

On reflection, it’s a trend that has been going on for some time.  In some of the companies that I visit during the course of my work, it is almost as if there has been a makeover compared to how things were 5 or 10 years ago.  Only senior management wear suits and ties, and for the rest of the employees “smart casual” is perfectly acceptable for most occasions.

I’m not sure why this is, but one reason could be a recognition that a comfortable employee can be more productive, and letting people wear what they want to – within reasonable limits – therefore has positive effects for the company as whole.

I feel though that part of the blame is down to the climate.  Until a couple of years ago I visited most of my IT clients wearing a suit and tie, and previously I always wore one to work.  Now I still wear a shirt and smart trousers, but I adapt better to situations like very cold winters or either very hot or damp summers.  My work is still of the same quality, but I tend to stay healthier that way.  Not that a suit was every a good idea for crawling under tables to plug dusty cables into the back of computers.

But does it give a different impression of my work?  Does it make it seem less valuable?  I certainly hope not, and if I thought it did I would switch back immediately.

Although since it’s Altweiberfastnacht today, it might not be the best day for that decision…


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About Graham

Graham Tappenden is a British ex-pat who first came to Germany as a placement student in 1993, returning in 1995 to live there permanently. He has been writing for AllThingsGerman.net since 2006. When not writing blog posts or freelancing for the Oberurseler Woche and other publications he works as a self-employed IT consultant solving computer problems and designing websites. In 2016 he gained German citizenship.

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