Would You Pay To Wear Jeans?

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Today we have a guest editorial from Andy Warren as Steve Jones is traveling to SQL Saturday #427 in Sioux Falls.

Many of us work for companies or clients that require business casual dress Monday through Thursday and casual wear on Friday. Casual usually means that wearing jeans is authorized. Casual Friday is a nice way to end the week, a chance to put on less formal and more comfortable clothes, clothes that maybe say a bit more about who we are (or aren’t).  It’s a small perk if you care about such things.

I’ve seen a number of companies extend offers to purchase casual days, usually in the form of a donation that goes to a charity. In return the donator get to wear casual clothes every day for a month or a perhaps a quarter. Most recently I’ve seen an offer that even provides a receipt so the deduction can be claimed on your tax return.  I’ve heard of rates ranging from a buck for a single day to $100 for a calendar quarter, with what seems like the sweet spot being $20 for a calendar quarter.

It’s an interesting game. Businesses get to do some good while giving employees the chance to earn a desired perk. It’s optional, so those who don’t want to spend or don’t care about jeans aren’t forced to participate. The prices are usually flat rate to keep the rules simple and often the checks are made out directly to the charity. I was discussing the approach with a friend and he thought it would be interesting to set a participation goal and if met grant the perk to everyone, not just those that paid. It’s easy to see twists and tweaks that could be added, though I’m not sure if doing so is good for anyone!

Is it a good idea? Would you pay (donate) some money to go casual every day? And whether you would or not, does having a program like this other consequences such as employees questioning why the business casual rule exists at all? I’m looking forward to the discussion on this one!

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