I can’t grow facial hair to save my life, but for many men who are more follically-inclined than I am, lockdown’s been the perfect chance to grow out a beautiful beard. Some of this facial horticulture has been deliberate – some of it’s because people can’t be bothered shaving.
Regardless of the intentions, many men have come down with a case of Stockholm syndrome. The razor has become the enemy. You can’t bear to get rid of those bristles, those work-from-home whiskers, the self-isolation stubble… The quarantine beard!
But now that restrictions are finally easing a little bit, many men are returning to the office only to find that their masculine mane is on the chopping block. How do you convince your boss and coworkers to let you keep your beard?
The Health Benefits Of A Beard
As we come into winter here in Australia, a beard comes into its own. Beards protect you from the cold and wind, and can help ward off throat diseases and asthma attacks, as long as you wash it regularly. More beard = less sick days = more productivity. Hard for your boss to argue with that, particularly when there’s a global pandemic going around.
If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere and coming into summer, a beard can also help protect your neck and face from sunburn. If you work outside, this could be a lifesaver during sunny days.
The Business Case For A Beard
Jimmy Niggles, the founder, CEO and ambassador for Beard Season, presents a strong business case for a beard in the workplace:
One of our ambassadors, Sir Richard Branson, actually credits his beard to a lot of his business success, saying it made him more memorable. I’m sure if your boss wants to stand in the way of your wonderful wooly pursuit, we’ll see if Branson can vouch for you. Plus, in six or so months time you should have something godly growing there no one on earth could argue with.
If a beard ups the charisma factor and lets you seal deals like one of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs, why get rid of it?
Stand Your Ground
Alternatively, the easiest way to keep that quarantine beard around is to not call attention to it. It’s all about your attitude – if you treat it as normal, then the rest of the office will, too.
Looking for someone who’s made the beard an office staple, I was referred to Matt K, a regional delivery manager for DXC Technology in Adelaide. Matt’s beard is fantastic and he also had some fantastic advice:
It’s not really a matter of convincing [your] colleagues, it’s more “This is how it is now”. No different to a hairstyle that someone may have gone and had done over the weekend…
Treat your beard well. Just like the hair on your head (if I had any), it needs to be shampooed, conditioned, and brushed… Find a good beard oil.
Hopefully now you’re armed with everything you need to keep your quarantine beard around. They’re an endangered species. Do your bit and preserve them.