As we embark on new beginnings, a fast-approaching new year, and settling into our new office, much will change, as should be expected. Some things, however, will not. One of those things is our policy on outdoor shoes.
- Please take off your outdoor shoes when entering the office.
- Grab your favourite slippers or indoor shoes, and get comfortable.
Slippers at the office – isn’t that a bit weird?
For many, including new clients, this practice is novel, if not weird. It shouldn’t be. For one, we already take off our outdoor shoes at home. For many of us, our office is our second home, so let’s extend the same love and care. Also, we’re not looking to build new habits, rather extend a long tradition at PD. We have always had a no-outdoor-shoes policy at PD, since 2009. This tradition will continue. 🥰️
Tradition and Respect
While taking off our outdoor shoes at the office may be rare in much of the West, it is a common tradition worldwide, especially in the Middle East and Asia. Why? In many cultures, cleanliness and hygiene hold great importance. Removing outdoor shoes before entering indoor spaces is a way to prevent dirt, dust, and contaminants from being brought inside. For some cultures, it’s extends to spiritual cleanliness.
“Walk into any Japanese home and you’ll notice there’s a designated space to take off your shoes and pop on a pair of slippers before entering. The space is known as a genkan, and you’ll also find them at restaurants, onsen, temples and even many offices.”
10 Pros, No Cons
In addition to cleanliness and tradition, there are many good reasons to take off your outdoor shoes. Check out the 10 very good reasons to, below.
- ✅ It is weird and uniquely PD
- ✅ It reduces noise in the office, less clicks and clacks
- ✅ It is more comfortable for your feet and body
- ✅ It is easier to stretch and sit crossed-legged, yoga on demand
- ✅ It symbolizes transition, from the outside world to our work-home, good for the mind and soul
- ✅ It is healthier for your feet to breathe than being stuffed up!
- ✅ It helps you get off speeding tickets
- ✅ It increases your attractiveness and makes you smarter
- ✅ It wards off vampires, werewolves, and evil spirits
- ✅ Your founder and CEO will greatly appreciate it, feel warm and fuzzy, making him more receptive to your needs, wants, and crazy demands.
Bonus: Moses did it.
In the Bible, God commanded Moses to remove his sandals before approaching Him on Mount Sinai (cf. Exodus 3:5). The cultural context of this narrative regards shoes as bringing in dust into the home [and office] and removing one’s shoes “would be a way of recognizing one’s personal uncleanness in the presence of holiness.” Hinduism and Islam also regard feet as being unclean; it is considered sacrilegious to touch books with one’s feet and an insult to point one’s feet at someone.