Thursday, February 28, 2008

Removing shoes at work

This week I started removing my shoes while at the office. I had not done this in any of the offices that I worked in before. That was mainly because my shoes had laces. If you take your shoes off at work, you want to be alble to put them back on quickly if you need to rush around. Now that I wear slip-on shoes I can do that (going to Japan made such a difference to my life). Obviously, it is not a cleanliness thing. It is a comfort thing. Who wants to be in their shoes all day?

Being able to remove your shoes is an advantage of working in an office. You cannot do it if you work in a factory or a kitchen. However, it does not look especially professional (unless you work in an Asian country where everybody entering the office has to take their shoes off). If you work in an office wear everybody is expected to wear a suit, then walking about the office in your socks is not going to go down well. However, if you are in that situation, you can always slip them off under the desk without being seen, provided you dont wear lace-up shoes.

The office I work in has a very casual culture. There is no dress code and you can wear sneakers without anybody complaining (not that I do that). I think I can get away with padding in socks some of the time.

Readers, is removing shoes at work something you would do?

And if you were the boss, would you make it a rule, in order to keep the office floor clean?


Bob said...

Matthew...I did not know that it was a requirement to remove your shoes in Asian offices...In answer to your questions..I would occassionaly remove my shoes under the desk on day I wore loafers...I was responsible for an office of 50or so and had a proabition against walking around shoeless...the reason being that I need to protect the company in the event of an accident...people in the US love to sue!!!

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

"I did not know that it was a requirement to remove your shoes in Asian offices..."

Not all of them. But many of them.

"I was responsible for an office of 50or so and had a proabition against walking around shoeless..."

I think that is rather a shame.

Bob said...

Matthew...thanks for the information about Asian ban on walking about shoeless in the office was predicated on the need to protect the compny rather than the carpet!!!

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

You are more likely to hurt your hands than your feet. Its not like one operates a photocopier or a paper shredder with one's toes.

Heather said...

i would love to remove my shoes b/c i work 3rd shift and well who wants to wear shoes from 11p-7a however i also work in a residential unit with children with special needs so the floors may not be the cleansiest area due to the things the kids do on the floor!

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Naturally, there are some workplaces where removing shoes is just nor possible.

I am glad I am not in that position.

Anonymous said...

I am a private teacher of history, and I usually teach students at their homes. In Georgia, my country, it's quite usual, though not total, to remove one's shoes when entering a home, so I enjoy working in my stockinged feet all day long.
Unfortunately, our offices don't follow this rule, and the same people who definitely remove their shoes at homes, either their own ones or others', will almost never do that at the office.
Many offices in Georgia are located in rented apartments, but even there, the shoes-off policy is never applied.
I know only one partial exception. Why partial?
The office being an apartment rented, the staff walk in their slippers, however they don't expect the sam from visitors. For a while, I was teaching there a man who was preparing for his master degree; he was very surprised when I started unzipping my dirty boots (it had been raining) and tried to stop me, yet I insisted.
Then he tried to offer me slippers, but I refused 'cause I prefer walking with my stockinged feet.
On the next occasion, he again tried to stop my taking off shoes (the weather was dry), but i explained to him that I prefer to follow the shoes-off rule indoors, and he complied. Later he would confess he appreciated my initiative!
If I ran an office, I would definitely require shoes-off from the staff and offer it to the customers (fearing to lose those customers who don't like it). I'd even use it as a test: if a job applicant/customer kicked off her/his shoes after looking at other shoes at the door, that would greatly increase his/her chances to get a position or a deal!

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Thanks for sharing that. It is good to hear from people about this issue.

I think Georgia has a fascinating place in history. I would love to learn more about your country.

God Bless