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Disclosure & Image Rights: The French National Tourist Board has covered the cost of flights and accommodation on various research trips. The Comité Régional de Tourisme Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur has taken over the costs for flights and accommodation on various research trips. Image material was created with a camera provided free of charge by our sponsor Olympus, which we checked as part of the test until it was unusable. 

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Simone Janson is publisherConsultant and head of the Institute's job pictures Yourweb. Under the registered trademark Best of HR – Berufebilder.de® you operate one Book publishing, an eLearning on Demand platform, a news service and is one of the 10 most important German bloggers loud Blogger Relevance Index and Wikipedia , Loud ZEIT it is one of the most important blogs on career, professional and working life. In addition, that leads Yourweb professional picture institute for cooperative & sustainable education, with which she awards scholarships and promotes sustainable projects. She also advises companies such as Samsung, OTTO and Randstad on HR communication and has worked for various universities and business schools.

BIO | Barefoot through job and life: freedom or whimsy?

Star fashion photographer Russel James has successfully demonstrated this: living and working without shoes. And there are more people who share this attitude: One of them, the Frenchwoman Elizabeth, I met during the weekend hiking in the Calanques near Marseille. And I asked myself: How much personal freedom is possible today in work and everyday life - and when does it get really ridiculous? Walking barefoot in the Calanques, Marsaille, Provence

Barefoot as a life setting?

Susanne Zürn-Seiller, press officer of the Comité Régional de Tourisme Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur in Marseille, who not only made my research on site possible through her sponsorship, but also supported me logistically, warned me extra: In the Calanques at Marsaille hiking only with sturdy shoes!

And while I am now on the safe side with my solid walking boots, and secretly blaspheming the people I meet on my way with little sands, I notice Elizabeth who is barefoot. Barefoot, without shoes, which could offer on the rocky, uneven and steep protection from stones, thorns and kinks.

I have to think of the Australian star fashion photographer Russel James: He photographed models like Giselle Cirrus or Heidi Klum of the world, but can according to own data “Not taking a single clever picture” in shoes. Even in the middle of winter he walks barefoot. And there are more people like him - you just have to enter barefoot life on Google.

Socially not accepted

Just: Here, without shoes to crackle, seems to me a trace harder. So a reason for me to address Elizabeth. It is a life setting, she tells me. As often as she can, she walks barefoot. Unfortunately, it is often not. For example, at work, because Elizabeth has a serious job as an accountant in the Toulon region of southern France.

Even in her free time, when she goes out in the evening, she often has to discuss your attitude with people. “Walking barefoot is often not socially acceptable ..” she sighs. She thinks it's funny that I want to publish a photo of her. “If you want,” she says. Walking around the area without shoes is nothing particularly noteworthy for Elizabeth.

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Unprotected on stony paths?

I ask if walking barefoot isn't a little dangerous here. The main hiking trails are well developed, especially by southern European standards. But like me, Elizabeth always takes the small paths that shorten the long switchbacks on the way down. And they are anything but wide and comfortable.

She fends off with a laugh: "It's just the way to the beach, barefoot walking is not a problem," she says. In fact, it runs amazingly safely on the rocky road. Even if she has to walk a bit more carefully than people with sturdy shoes. Sometimes she stumbles a little, but that can also happen with sturdy shoes.

Hiking Calanques Marselle Provence

Only apparent security?

"Bravo," said a woman who comes puffing towards us from below and points to Elizabeth's bare feet. And I suddenly wonder why I have been carrying heavy hiking shoes with me all week. Maybe you really have more freedom if you walk barefoot through the area?

Perhaps we should simply take things from which we believe that they provide us with security, but which really confine us to reality? Or is barefoot running just a crazy spleen, the consolidation of a somewhat spun identity, as Russell James himself says?

Barefoot at work - what is allowed?

And what would you say if your boss, your staff or colleagues suddenly wanted to get barefoot to work? How far does it go, in the wake of the often cited shortage of skilled workers, in Company the tolerance to allow employees such and similar nastiness?

Or is it, for example in creative professions, not even necessary, the employee have such freedoms to do their job well, as the example Russell James shows. Or can the stars just allow themselves? Looking forward to opinions!

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17 responses to “BIO | Barefoot through job and life: Freedom or whimsy? "

  1. Marco says:

    Venite a paseggiare scalzi a Rimini, ance io amo girare a piedi nudi quando posso.

    • Simone Janson says:

      Magari .. Almeno li c'e la spiagga per andare scalzi. This is the content of the autotraduzione di Google sembra cosi bene che si capisce i articoli. Saluti in Italia!

  2. Mario Voegtlin says:

    RT @SimoneJanson: What do you mean barefoot to work? How can employees be? #kleiderordnung

  3. Axel Haitzer says:

    RT @SimoneJanson: What do you mean barefoot to work? How can employees be? #kleiderordnung

  4. Simone Janson says:

    Hello Manfred,
    Nice! Thank you! I am also completely against restrictive shoes and high heels. There are more barefoot people than you should think. But it's worth thinking about the safety aspect - shoes are sometimes safer - aren't they?

    • Esther Stratmann says:

      Well, if you work in a chemistry laboratory or in a steel mill, sure. But when you walk through the city or nature, you can hardly get more than a small cut, and that weighs very little compared to the feeling of freedom. You won't believe how robust your feet are when you're used to walking barefoot ...

      Esther, barefoot walkers since 9 years

      • Simone Janson says:

        Thank you for this assessment! But when I think of rough asphalt alone.
        A question: How do you handle it in your job? Elizabeth says yes, at work she has to keep her shoes on ...

        • Esther Stratmann says:

          At the moment I am still studying; in my evening job (waiters in a quite quaint pub) is barefoot no problem.
          Later in my working life I don't know ... I always hope that my dream of free journalism will come true.
          Asphalt is not a problem at all: If you have healthy feet and have walked downstairs without them for 2-3 weeks, you have forgotten how shoes feel. As long as it pinches and pokes a bit; I started walking barefoot quite suddenly when I was 17, and I still remember that the first few weeks on hot urban asphalt in midsummer were pretty painful; thick blood blisters under both pads. But since then I have been running without any complaints ...

        • Esther Stratmann says:

          In rough asphalt I see (in contrast to stony hiking trails) no problem. You have to run barefoot for three weeks, then you do not care how rough the asphalt is (I started barefoot all of a sudden, the first weeks I had bloodballs etc., after a few weeks no more complaints).

          My job? Currently a student, working as a waitress in a barefoot pub in the evening - barefoot is no problem, of course I don't know how it will be at work afterwards, study German: If my dream of freelance journalism comes true, it can work, it would be a teacher probably more difficult ...

  5. Manfred (Ten) says:

    I too belong to the species that lives all year round and consistently barefoot.

    Isn't it rather a “whimsy” to break your feet (and more) with “high heels”, to breed blisters and athlete's foot in warm, damp shoes and to deny the sensual experience of being “grounded”?

    Myself and many barefoot friends from all over Germany, with whom I exchange ideas in our BArfüßer forum and with whom we always have several meetings and hikes each year, find time and again: It works! Problem-free! If you are authentic, well-groomed and noticeably do not want to provoke - then there are only very few reactions - and they are almost always curious-friendly / positive ...

    And should I really do my life after the few others who (still) are caught in their constraints?

  6. dirt foot says:

    What do you mean barefoot to work? How can employees be?

  7. Andreas Prokop says:

    Series - Professional & Life Pictures worldwide: Barefoot through life - Freedom or whimsy? #Business

  8. Andreas Prokop says:

    Series - Professional & Life Pictures worldwide: Barefoot through life - Freedom or whimsy? #Business

  9. Andreas Prokop says:

    Series - Professional & Life Pictures worldwide: Barefoot through life - Freedom or whimsy? #Business

  10. Holger Froese says:

    Series - Professional & Life Pictures worldwide: Barefoot through life - Freedom or whimsy?
    Commented on Twitter

  11. Simone Janson says:

    What do you mean barefoot to work? How can employees be?

  12. Competencepartner says:

    Series - Professional & Life Pictures worldwide: Barefoot through life - Freedom or whimsy ?: Star fashion boss ...

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