As we enter into the last days of summer, a poll conducted by Monster shows the impact of casual dress in the workplace. A staggering 81 per cent of UK workers questioned feel flip-flops are unprofessional, while an additional six per cent simply don’t want to see colleagues’ feet whilst at work. In contrast, just one in ten (10 per cent) believe flip-flops are generally acceptable attire.
Monster, the premier global online employment solution and flagship brand of Monster Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: MWW) asked visitors to their site the question, “Which of the following best describes how you feel about wearing flip-flops in the workplace?” and received 10,723 responses globally. UK findings include:
- Flip-flops are generally acceptable attire: 10%
- Flips-flops are acceptable only for women: 3%
- They’re okay, but I personally don’t like seeing feet at work: 6%
- Flip-flops look unprofessional: 81%
Across the regions there are notable differences between the Americas and Europe, with 86 per cent of respondents in the Americas (US, Canada and Mexico) deeming flip-flops unprofessional, against nearly three quarters (72%) of respondents across Europe who feel the same. Asian workers appear slightly less perturbed by footwear, with only 68 per cent believing flip-flops inappropriate.
Country by country, a similar number of respondents from the US (87 per cent), Canada (86 per cent), Mexico (82 per cent), Sweden (81 per cent) and the UK (81 per cent) veto flip-flops in the workplace, compared to a smaller percentage across the Netherlands (70 per cent), Austria (60 per cent) and Italy (60 per cent).
Conversely, a quarter of all respondents in Austria (25 per cent) and Italy (23 per cent) feel flip-flops are appropriate footwear for work, the highest percentage of all regions and almost double the percentage who feel this way in the UK. By contrast, the lowest numbers of respondents who feel the same are Mexican (six per cent) American (five per cent), and Canadian (five per cent).
In general, respondents express strong opinions on flip-flop wearing as either acceptable or unacceptable for work; while a mere five per cent of workers across the globe feel flip-flops are acceptable only for women.
“In just about every industry, work environments are becoming more casual, so it can be hard for people to know what’s appropriate,” says Michael Gentle, Head of Consumer Marketing UK & Ireland, Monster.co.uk. “And in summer months, staying cool becomes a priority. But in any job, you should dress with an eye toward your future career. Emulate your managers and people you admire at your company, make sure you understand official dress codes, and pay attention to your calendar — you may want to dress up a bit on days with important meetings, for example.”
The results of the current Monster Global Poll are based on votes cast by Monster visitors from: May 1 – May 14 2012. Only one vote per user is counted toward the final tabulation. The Monster Global poll, a product of Monsterâ, the premier global online employment solution and flagship brand of Monster Worldwide, Inc., is a series of online polls that gauge users’ opinions on a variety of topics relating to careers, the economy and the workplace. These polls are not scientific and reflect the opinions of only those Internet users who have chosen to participate.