5 Workplace Taboos That Are Becoming More Acceptable in the IT Industry

By Chelsea Babin

On average, job tenures are shorter and companies are becoming less bureaucratic and restrictive, especially in the IT industry. These 5 workplace taboos are on their way out for technical professionals. Does your company still frown upon one or more of these practices?

1. Brightly Colored Hair, Jeans and T-shirts, and Tattoos: Some organizations are completely lifting their dress code restrictions—making way for brightly colored hair, tattoos, and more in the workplace—while others are simply easing up a bit by allowing technical professionals to wear jeans and t-shirts on a regular basis.

2. Setting Your Schedule: The low unemployment rate in the IT industry means there are fewer technical professionals who need a job. That’s why companies are offering flextime, telecommuting, and unlimited PTO to entice those talented technical professionals. These work-life balance improving benefits are ushering in an era of employees who are able to set their own schedule—something that used to be quite taboo.

3. Working on a Side Project: Though some companies still use non-compete clauses, many encourage their IT staff to work on side projects. Having a second job or a side project used to be somewhat taboo, and still is for a lot of employees whose focus isn’t technology.

4. Sharing Ideas with C-Level Executives: Red tape and bureaucracy are still somewhat commonplace in the corporate world but a lot of start-ups, small, and mid-sized companies are adopting open door policies so technical professionals can share their ideas with C-level executives directly. This ability used to be reserved for management only but sharing ideas with higher ups is becoming less taboo for a lot of IT employees.

5. Using Your PTO: At some companies, it feels like there is an unspoken rule that, although you get a certain number of vacation days each year, you should never come close to using them all. That wasted paid time off is kind of like a wasted form of compensation and many organizations are realizing that it’s not enough to offer ample PTO if your employees don’t use it or feel like they shouldn’t use it.

What is taboo at one company may not be taboo at another, but these 5 workplace taboos are definitely fading away in the IT industry. Are there any other workplace taboos you hope will disappear?

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