Tuesday, December 15, 2009

7 Gen Blog: The Big Shoe-Down

7 Gen Blog: The Big Shoe-Down


richyrich said...

Another story from my workplace. I was talking with a group of colleagues at break time today (none of the women who were in the car with me the other day were there though)and one woman said how she had a television engineer to come to her house firat thing this morning and as she'd just recently cleaned her carpets, she was worried about the engineer's boots making them dirty. She said that she was really relieved when he put on some shoe covers and I told her about the man who came to clean my carpets the other week too. Unfortunately, we then got disrupted which meant that we were unable to carry on with the topic. If it crops up again in the next few days (and I do speak to her most days so I'll try and bring the subject up again if I can)I'll try and raise the issue of "shoes off policies" with her to see what her thinking on it is.

However, from what I've seen this week (and reported on here)and some other things I see and hear about me, it does seem pretty clear that the desire to keep floors clean from outside footwear is something that is becoming increasingly common, which does make it a near certainty that "shoes off policies" are growing in popularity and that it is probably only a matter of time before it becomes the "norm" in the U.K. It seems to be more common in particular amongst younger people which is certainly an encouraging sign for the future.

Celestial Fundy said...


In fact it would ne misleading to tell a foreigner that keeping shoes on is the norm in the UK.

Perhaps for a party, keeping shoes on might be the norm. But for casual visits, removing shoes is as common as keeping them on.

Anonymous said...

I am not sure whether this is directly relevant to this blog, but I work for a fairly small firm of Accountants.

Anyway, the receptionist in our office wears shoes like most people wear a coat. What I mean is that she takes her shoes or boots off as soon as she arrives in the office in the moring and then walks around in her tights feet all day, even in front of clients!!

She is great at her job, very bubbly and condfident and always smartly dressed, but seems to have no inhibitions about going shoeless all day, every day.

When asked about it, she said that she likes having her feet "free" and finds it comfy. She said that she hated wearing shoes and had given up trying to find a comfy pair as she had triede loads and failed.

I am just wondering whether anyone else has ever come across a similar situation and whether or not you consider it professional not to wear shoes in this type of situation.

I never wear shoes aat home, but equally don't remove mine in the office.


Celestial Fundy said...

Jeff, thanks for visiting and leaving your comment.

Its interesting how often the subject of removing shoes at work comes up on this blog.

Quite a few of the female visitors here like to take their shoes off at work. I have known quite a few ladies who do this, including some in management.

I like to remove my shoes in the office, but not many other blokes seem to do this.

Personally, I think it is fine to go shoeless at work, provided there are no safety risks.

Why would you not remove them? Is it because you wear lace-ups and it is not practical to put them on and off or simply to because you do not wish to look unprofessional?

Also given that many offices have filthy carpets, do you not think that it would make sense for offices to have a shoes-off policy?

Anybody should feel free to jump in on this conversation.

richyrich said...

First of all Jeff, about how old is the lady in question? It is just that I observed on here the other day that younger people tend to be more "pro shoes off" than the older ones.

Anyway, I think I've mentioned on here previously how a good many years ago (before I actually became fully converted to the "shoes off" cause) I used to work for a small company offering professional services and one of the secretaries (who was in her early 20's at the time) there also used to take off her shoes as soon as she arrived every day (often before she'd even take her coat off!)and then just stay in her tights the whole day. She was asked a few times why she always took off her shoes and she simply said that she didn't like wearing them. We very rarely had clients coming to the office but I would have thought that it wouldn't have made much difference to her habits if that had been the case.

I don't think that most clients of any firm would have any problem with seeing employees shoeless. Indeed if it is becoming more common for people to take their shoes off when visiting other people's homes, it may well be that being shoeless in work will also become more acceptable in due course.

Anonymous said...


Sorry about the delay in replying.

The lady, Karen is I think about 25 or 26.

It was interesting to read about the girl you used to work with. It sounds very similar, our receptionist, basically always goes in her stockinged feet in the office. Yesterday, we had our office party at a nearby hotel, and she even took her shoes off there and spent the whole time in her stockinged feet.