When I arrived in Switzerland 14 years ago, and still now, I am always amazed and a little shocked by a particular habit very widely common in many Swiss offices.
The office “shoes” the people are wearing here!
As in a perfect home, a lot of people use to wear slippers, sandals or whatever cannot be typically defined as “office shoe” in the office itself.
It is important to stay comfortable at work, and for sure there are reports connecting the level of comfort to the productivity…but what about being professional?
I know that the dress, uniform or outfit are not everything, but they sometimes help to…stay focused.
I had meetings with quite authoritarian project managers wearing ties, very knowledgeable colleagues experts of different subjects, heads of department, peers.
All perfect, but if my sight fell by chance on the floor…I was looking at me dealing with a Birkenstock (great sandals, by the way!) professional!
These “office slippers” homey fellows are extremely professional and proud in wearing their office devices and walking with them on the various floors. Sometimes they even dare to keep them and go to a meeting in another office building!
No problem. It is just a matter of comfort and formalities, isn’t it? In a lot of countries which are not confederations, or where they do not speak German, people normally wear shoes (sometimes even expensive, elegant and classical ones!) at work and slippers at home.
Here however it is sometimes the opposite! Informal office dress code? Very good!
After so much time here, not to forget, I have definitely to leave a note on the main door of my house: “Wear your shoes!” (Maybe I will be brave and use this note only in winter…to become a little more Swiss, at least in summer!)
By the way, for any possible need for “office equipment” for Swiss offices, please have a look here: http://www.birkenstock.com/