Wearing Flip-Flops A No-No? Your Coworkers Say Yes!

July 14, 2011

Woman wearing flip-flopsWith warm weather finally here, you may be tempted to break out the flip-flops for work. However, even if you work at a laid-back, hip tech company, you might want to think twice before slipping on the casual footwear.

Reuters reported that a survey, conducted by Opinion Research Corporation on behalf of employment services company Adecco, showed that wearing flip-flops to work is a major faux pas. According to Life Inc., the survey, which included responses from 1,000 American adults aged 18 and over, revealed that 71 percent thought flip-flops were the biggest office "don't", adding that the beach footwear is inappropriate for the office. Flip-flops were even more inappropriate than miniskirts and strapless tops, which came in second and third, respectively, on the inappropriate scale.

"Flip flops can be worn commuting, but once you get to your desk you should change," said Kathy Kane, senior vice president of Adecco, to Fox Business.

Interestingly, Reuters pointed out that while women and men agreed that flip-flops were too casual for the office, the two were divided on their definition of appropriate summer work attire. Most women (80 percent) said miniskirts were inappropriate for work, while just 61 percent of men agreed. More than 76 percent of women said strapless tops should not make an appearance at work, as opposed to just 55 percent of men.

According to Life Inc., when it comes to flip-flops, it's not so much the exposed toes that bother people; instead, it's the footwear itself that is an annoyance. Just 31 percent of respondents said they were opposed to open-toed shoes in general.

Fox Business noted that 74 percent of Americans think it is acceptable for men and women to dress more casual at the office during warmer weather. In fact, employers should ease up on the dress code during the summer. However, employees still need to keep it professional.

"Be really careful about what you decide to wear to work--it speaks to your professional image, no matter what kind of job you are in," said Kane.

But if you're still adamant about flip-flops, a guest blogger for The Washington Post put together a list of stylish, comfortable flip-flop alternatives that your coworkers may be more tolerant of.

Compiled by Heidi M. Agustin


"Flip-flops are a bigger office 'don't' than strapless tops," lifeinc.com, July 13, 2011, Allison Linn

"Flip-flops Number One 'don't' for summer work attire: survey," reuters.com, July 13, 2011

"Summer Office Etiquette: No Flip Flops and Get Moving," foxbusiness.com, July 14, 2011, Kate Rogers

"The Flip-flop Revolution," voices.washingtonpost.com, July 23, 2010, Janice Wallace

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