Stop wearing sweatpants to work!

Several years ago I was working at a small non-profit organization in Seattle, Wa. The office had a casual, laid-back vibe that all of the employees really enjoyed. It was the type of place where you could set your own work hours, take a break to play a game of pool, and grab free snacks from the company kitchen.

One morning, a co-worker of mine showed up wearing sweatpants and flip-flop sandals. We we’re shocked. About an hour into the day our sweat-pant clad co-worker was called into the Executive Directors office. Our ED wasn’t one to give anyone a hard time, but we all had a pretty good idea as to the content of their impromptu conversation. No, the organization didn’t have a specific sweat-pant policy in place, but that was because it never crossed anyones mind that an employee would show up to an office job wearing something so unprofessional.

Today, I work as a non-profit consultant. I spend most of my time helping organizations figure out how they can raise money. Recently, I’ve been noticing that too many non-profit organizations feel like they can get away with creating and releasing terrible communications collateral. They post blurry social media photos, create tri-fold pamphlets that look like they were designed by high-school students (no offense to high-school students), and have websites that were made last year, but look like they were designed in 1995.

Some of these organizations are multi-million dollar a year non-profits. It frustrates me that they can’t seem to get it together long enough to actually create professional looking communications. It’s as if they’ve shown up to work wearing sweatpants and it’s not okay with me.

So many times I want to pull them into my office and yell, “Stop Wearing Sweatpants to work!”.