“You’ll never find me in suit or a tie while working. Why? Because, suits and ties have given business people a bad reputation for decades. They are a redundant legacy left over from big, monopolistic companies where creativity takes a back seat to tradition.
Unfortunately, the suit and tie has defined the business world for too many years – leaving many young people with the false perception of what it means to be an entrepreneur. The state of my industry is overdressed!
The entrepreneurial experience should be a liberating journey, free from the constraints of expectations. As we enter the age of the startup, it’s great to see that business is changing, and with it, people’s perceptions. Over the past few years we have experienced a new age of entrepreneurs – people who have left the suit behind in aid of feeling more comfortable.
There’s a reason very few creative people wear suits and ties. Audacious ideas rarely spring from boardrooms and office cubicles. They come from getting out and about and experiencing life in its most inspiring settings. Creativity doesn’t wear a uniform, nor should creators. Business people should lose the suit and tie, and dress comfortably. There is no reason for CEOs or managers to dress differently from the rest of their teams either.
Mark Zuckerberg, Richard Reed and the late Steve Jobs have all founded successful, well-respected businesses, while donning a round neck. Their companies have also been places of innovation, creativity and, most of all, happiness within the work force.
In our head offices in London and New York we encourage people to dress however they please. On any given day you’ll see people in T-shirts and trainers – some people even wear shorts and flip flops in the summer time. Walking into the building you can instantly feel the relaxed atmosphere, and the creativity which abounds.
Suits aren’t totally to blame for lacklustre working environments, but there’s freedom that comes from breaking down barriers, and giving people a sense of self-expression and enjoyment while working. We spend majority of our lives at work, so why not enjoy it?
The overdressed business world needs to be addressed, and undressed. It’s time to say bye to the tie… the T-shirt and jeans revolution is here.”
An Excerpt from Richard Branson’s “State of Entrepreneurship: Want to Be More Creative? Lose the Tie” on LinkedIn June 2015
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