The No Shoe ZoneUntil a few days ago, I ran a home office of an expanding and contracting nature. We grew and shrank and grew again, similar to the girth of a middle aged woman I guess. On Monday we moved to a regular-ish space. This office has been active for four years almost and in that time I have insisted that it be a barefoot space. A no shoe zone. This has had a strange effect on my staff. It certainly was a contributing factor to ensuring a relaxed family style environment. Remove the shoes and effectively remove the social barrier of formality. It even works with clients. I'm sure it is not the only reason we largely operate as a family but it certainly is a contributing factor. Enter the house, shed your external persona along with your external foot ware and take part
Ok I'm just a tad over dramatizing, but think about, take off your shoes in a completely unusual environment and suddenly you expose a part of yourself. Once you've done that, you are almost forced to loosen the social constraints of a workplace. Of course there is an argument that those constraints are required in workplaces for professionalism and that you need those barriers to ensure distance, and maybe that is true. But I still like the barefoot approach.