This article originally appeared on our sister site, ZDNet Australia

Leave the jeans at home, get a haircut, and shave that beard, because the IT industry is tightening its grip on the dot-com culture and everything it stands for, as managers know that they don’t need to compete to hold on to their best employees.

During the dot-com boom, a lot of IT recruitment consultants said a more laid-back environment improved staff morale, retention, and productivity. However, some employers now seem to be taking advantage of the struggling industry and are readopting traditional corporate culture into the IT sector.

Why? ZDNet Australia asked Paul Rush, a global recruitment consultant, whether he was concerned that a reversal of this culture may also signal a reversal in productivity. “The increase in productivity is not worth the extra cost, and it takes away from the key focus, which has to be work. The market has tightened significantly, and whether people like it or not, you’re going to have to work a lot harder in this environment than you have ever done in your life.”

“People see any additional expenditure as fun, and that means you don’t have to go for that additional comfort for your employees because you don’t need to do it anymore, because you don’t need to compete to hold on to your employees,” Rush added.

So what does the readoption of traditional corporate culture mean to you? It means you’re no longer going to be employed just because you’re a technical guru. You are going to have to learn to dress, communicate, and adapt to all the traditional corporate ideals that IT has been exempt from in the dot-com culture.

Is the dot-com culture dead? “Elements will come back,” Rush said. “If we can’t have elements like that in society, we stop challenging our traditional values and, when we stop doing that, we stop maturing as a species.”

Is the dot-com culture headed for extinction?

So has the dot-com culture disappeared forever or will it return? As a manager, are you seeing a return to traditional corporate culture? E-mail the editors and tell us what you think.