Over the past couple decades, work dress codes have relaxed in Corporate America. Most employees are no longer required to wear suits and ties for non-customer facing jobs. Many jobs have eased the slacks requirement for jeans. Offices for the most part have let nylons go the way of the dinosaur.
While the corporate world does not require high heels any more, employees’ footwear choices can still get them in hot water. In fact, shoes are one of the top reasons why employees are sent home for dress code violations.
All of this, we are told, is for “our safety.” Some Human Resources departments even claim that other footwear is “against health codes” or “against insurance codes.”
In fact, the truths are:
A computer, staple, telephone, food, employee coffee cup, or other general office supplies are not considered OSHA-related hazards.
The direct link for something with an official OSHA heading can be found here.
So, then why are people worried about feet?
Most people truly believe there are laws in relation to feet. People see “No shoes, no service” signs. Managers have told employees they must wear shoes. People just believe the people that tell them this – without doing any research.
Are people actually offended by feet in a society where most of the public wears open shoes? Does a customer wearing flip flops get offended because the person helping them is wearing backless shoes? Do customers refuse to pay their bill because someone has their shoes off under their desk?
Reasons For Relaxing Shoe Rules
Barefoot to School
School is the equivalent to work for kids. They spend the majority of the day in the classroom Monday through Friday and sit at desks. Relaxing shoe rules for kids has a lot of the same benefits as above, with a few additions.
Just as a child’s brain is developing when they learn, their feet are developing as they grow. While nourishing minds, the school can also be encouraging proper foot development.
In countries such as Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa it’s common to see students barefoot in class. Even in schools with dress codes, footwear is left up to the child.
Don’t wait until reaching adulthood and work. Start kids off right with going barefoot to school.