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Dress code, creative freedom or whimsy? Barefoot to work

Star fashion photographer Russel James has shown it successfully: Live and work without shoes. And there are more people who share this attitude. But how much creative freedom is allowed and possible in the job?

Walking barefoot in the Calanques, Marsaille, Provence

Why do we wear shoes?

Many people take it for granted that they should wear shoes. We usually wear them to protect ourselves from the cold, heat and hard surfaces. But also as a fashion statement. And to meet the dress code.

But for some people it is not, they want to walk barefoot for health or idealistic reasons. But especially in the workplace, especially in the open-plan office or in connection with customer contact, the individual urge for freedom often has limits.

How important is it to wear shoes at work?

Although there are in many Company There are no longer any guidelines that require a specific dress code, but wearing shoes in the office is often implied. This even applies to employees who should not wear shoes for medical reasons.

But wearing shoes can also affect our productivity. When we wear shoes, we automatically think of how they affect our balance and posture, and we may also get distracted by how they look, feel, and whether we like them.

Barefoot as a life setting?

So I know people who take off their shoes to think about it in the office, in order to feel more grounded and have a better stamina. That may seem crazy at first glance, but the conversation with the Frenchwoman Elizabeth, who I met in the Calanques near Marseille, made me rethink: And I asked myself: How much personal freedom is possible today in work and everyday life - and when does it get really weird?

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Hiking in the stony calanques can be compared to an office in which you have to overcome many obstacles every day. And both factually and figuratively Sense The rule applies: only hike with sturdy shoes!

Customized with shoes on the safe side?

And while I think I'm on the safe side with my sturdy hiking boots and secretly blaspheme about the people I meet with Sändälchen on my way, I notice Elizabeth walking this path barefoot. Barefoot, without shoes that could offer protection from stones, thorns and twisting on the rocky, uneven and steep terrain.

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 “Don't take a single clever picture” in shoes. Even in the middle of winter he runs barefoot. And there are more people like him - you just have to enter life barefoot 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.

In her free time, too, 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 special or noteworthy for Elizabeth.

Hiking Calanques Marselle Provence

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.

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 Manager, Your employees or colleagues suddenly wanted to come to work barefoot? In the wake of the often-cited shortage of skilled workers, how far does the tolerance go in companies to allow employees to do this kind of thing?

Or is it not even necessary, for example in creative professions, that employees have the freedom to do their job well, as the example of Russell James shows. Or can only stars allow themselves that?

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17 responses to “dress code, creative freedom or whimsy? Barefoot to work ”

  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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