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Tattoos at work

Visible tattoos at workIn the recent past, both my best friends have told me they want to get tattoos. One wants to get her husband’s name inked on her wrist and the other her daughter’s name on the nape of her neck. The first question I asked them was, “Would it be okay at work?” Both of them laughed and said, “Of course. Why not?” One of them was in HR and didn’t see anything wrong with getting a visible tattoo.  So, does this mean that the trend is changing and people are becoming more open and acceptable to the idea of having visible tattoos at work? Are tattoos being considered a part of professional dressing or behavior?

There are various factors, which come into play here:

Is your job a customer-facing job?

Many companies that hire employees who have to work with customers on a daily basis prefer to hire someone who has non-visible tattoos. This applies mostly to organizations such as banks, hospitals, etc. Some exceptions to this rule may be those of clothing and fashion stores, where a person with a tattoo may be preferred.

What industry or which company do you work for?

What industry or which company you work for plays a major role in the acceptance of tattoos. Nowadays more companies are becoming more open to the idea of employees having visible tattoos. They would prefer to hire or keep an employee who is an excellent performer with a tattoo over not hiring them.  Some companies would ask the employee to keep these tattoos covered if required. Again, companies that are in the creative or entertainment field have no qualms about their employees having visible tattoos.

What is your job role?

What your job role in the company is another factor that determines the acceptance of tattoos in the workplace. For example, if you are a doctor, your job would demand that you have a more serious and easily acceptable image. So, having visible tattoos may not go down well with your patients and some may not be very comfortable. On the other hand, if you are a designer, most clients would be more accepting of you having more tattoos, as this is the sort of image designers have – creative and different.

What tattoo do you have?

Most people find tattoos as a way to express themselves and consider them pieces of art. Tattoos have their own meaning to the person who has them. But, one needs to ensure that the visible tattoos are in no way offensive to anyone. No company or customer would be okay with any sort of offensive tattoo, so these are to be avoided.

Before you go ahead and get a visible tattoo, do keep the above-mentioned factors in mind.

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