Urban Diplomat: What’s the dress code for meetings when they take place on Skype?
Dear Urban Diplomat,
I run a tech company, and a lot of my meetings take place via Skype with programmers and designers who work from home. More and more, I’m noticing the guy on the other end hasn’t shaved or even put on a dress shirt. I take the time to look professional. Shouldn’t he?
—Hot under the collar, LIBERTY VILLAGE
Given that Mark Zuckerberg, the poster boy for unsociable, hoodied programmers everywhere, is a few years away from ruling the world, your call for the collar seems quaint. If said slovenly programmers are on camera for an internal meeting—that is, with their fellow company geeks—a T-shirt and jeans are probably fine. Such a casual code even works to your advantage: out-dressing your subordinates is a subtle, unspoken way of maintaining the master-slave dialectic. However, if they’re on a conference call and representing the firm to clients or investors, then you should absolutely ask them to dress the part—from the waist up, at least.
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