Casual Friday is a form of mind control

I have a few friends who work for companies that have a "casual Friday" policy. The idea here is that on Fridays, employees can where whatever they want to work - ie, something casual.

Ooooh, hooray! I'm a 33 year old man raising two kids, paying a mortgage, managing a significant budget for your company, and I'm so excited because today I get to where whatever pants I want! You're so awesome boss!

Are you kidding me?

If once a week your employer is saying "hey, you can wear whatever you want to work" - all they're doing is telling you that they have so much power over you that they get to control what you're going to wear on a daily basis.

It's a ridiculous form of mind control.

Stodgy companies of course respond by saying something to the effect of: "but we often have clients visiting" or "there are important meetings to attend with key executives" or some other lame excuse for a ridiculous policy.

The reality is that if your people can't figure out the appropriate attire to wear for a particular event, then you've hired the wrong people. The other reality of course is that people work most effectively when they are comfortable. And clothes have a direct impact on our comfort.

Just talk to a woman who has to wear panty hose every day, or a man that has to wear an upside down noose - I mean tie - every day.

If you want people to wear pleated khaki pants with a checkered button down just because that's what you wear, at least have the wherewithal to realize that what you're doing is telling people they have to wear a uniform.

And if you expect people to wear a uniform, don't be surprised if they're unwilling to take a risk, make a mistake, or do something amazing. Because you've trained them to be so obedient that they can't even pick out their own clothes.

Casual Friday's are nothing more than an exercise in mind control. On Monday, be an adult and wear whatever pants you want.