Going Shoeless at Work Could Make You Less Stressed and More Productive
Kick off your shoes and work a while.
Working barefoot may not be mainstream yet, but it’s spread far beyond the street performers, yoga instructors and writers, especially in the summer months. Some librarians and college professors, entrepreneurs and marketing managers wear nothing on their feet. So do some politicians, including British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who removed his shoes during a recent heat wave, much to some Brits’s consternation.
About one in four US companies adopt a casual dress code in the summer months, according to the Society of Human Resource Management, and another 36 percent go with casual year-round. Whether that gives people permission to skip shoes altogether, or just remove them once they’re in their workspace, isn’t clear. It’s difficult to say how many employers allow workers to go barefoot but shoeless staff may feel less stressed and work more productively. There’s a growing movement of adopting a barefoot lifestyle, people who hardly ever don boots or shoes.
“Now there’s a moment: Get out of our shoes,” because they are unhealthy for our feet, said Daniel Howell, a professor of biology at Liberty University who wrote The Barefoot Book in 2010.
“We need to rethink shoes the way we rethought cigarettes,” he said, adding shoes are not as bad as say tobacco on individuals health.