But there are some rules to workplace etiquette when it comes to sporting casual footwear says etiquette expert Karen Cleveland, as published in the National Post:
Cleveland said personal comfort shouldn’t supersede the feelings of your colleagues.
“I think even some footwear in the summer pushes (the boundaries of) what’s appropriate in an office environment,” she said. “If you can wear it on the beach, it’s not appropriate for the office. So flip-flops are a no-no. Barefoot or even in your stocking feet — definitely not.”
Lew Bayer, president of Civility Experts Worldwide shared a story about a student who saw a sales agent “picking her feet” at her office desk…
“I do often hear about things like that in the workplace, where whether it’s picking your scalp or your nose or your feet — it’s all disgusting,” she said from Winnipeg.
Bayer said hygiene is also a concern when soles are bared in places where food is being served.
“Other people would say that ’It’s bare skin. What’s the difference if it’s someone’s thigh in their short-shorts or my bare feet?”
“But because feet are closer to the ground and lots of germs and waste and dog poop and chewed-up gum and all kinds of things, it is considered very rude — especially if your feet are unclean or not well-groomed to put them on other people’s furniture.”
“Underneath in the chair in front of me, I might take my shoes off…but I think it’s inappropriate if someone is sitting across from you to put your feet up.”
The rules still apply even if someone finds themselves with few — or no — other people in close proximity.
“It’s the same thing as something like double-dipping,” said Nourse. “Just because nobody can see you, does it still make double-dipping — with the chips and dip — appropriate?”
The main thing to realize is that the true definition of etiquette is to treat people right. It’s the customary code of socially acceptable behaviour that’s polite and shows respect to those around you.
Even when the heat cranks up this summer, be sure to practice appropriate workplace etiquette at the office, which means wearing your flip-flops where they belong – at the beach.