Utah Workers Take Off Their Pants (for a Good Cause)

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pants off You wouldn't generally think of workers in a conservative state like Utah being caught with their pants down, but since summer days in this desert state often reach 100-degree temperatures, one firm has mandated a "No Pants" policy during five of the hottest weeks of the year.

From July 12 to Aug. 12, all employees are asked to wear shorts, skirts, capris, lava lavas, sarongs, kilts, saris -- just about anything other than pants -- to work, and that includes meetings with clients and professional presentations.

And the program goes one step farther than just helping employees keep their cool; workers at Richter7, a Salt Lake City-based advertising and public relations agency, are also being asked to donate pants and other clothing items to the needy in Utah through the Volunteers of America. There's a convenient donation bin at the office all month long for this very purpose.

This program is such a hit that they've kept it going for four years straight. "A lot of people seem to forget about the needy in the summer," said Tim Brown, a Richter7 partner. "This monthlong charity is our version of a Christmas in July, reminding everyone to continue giving no matter the time of year. Donating to the community encourages us to look for creative opportunities and continually make a difference."

Brown is the partner in charge of the "Knickerbocker Police," which fines offenders 25 cents for wearing long pants. Although he's not pressuring other businesses to adopt a pants-free policy, the program is so successful that he's inviting other members of the American Advertising Federation of Utah to at least donate clothing.

Richter7 has several other ways to help its employees keep their cool. For each day the temperature exceeds 100 degrees, they throw a "Cool Down" party, complete with frozen treats, for the 36-person agency. In addition, Richter7 management is buying a new pair of shorts for each employee.

"We enjoy doing activities like the No Pants policy...." said Brown. "Even though our main focus each day is to do the best work we can for each client, infusing fun and building relationships is a natural part of our culture."

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