Today, a grey and foggy Swiss day, we suddenly got a temporary employee to help us during this busy Christmas time.
He got a temporary consulting contract for a specific project with a very challenging due date: everything should have been finished by this evening.
He was not so sure whether he should have accepted the offer or not, but he finally agreed.
So he started his task: sitting on the best working place of the office, with a great view on the surrounding landscape: the ideal location for free ideas.
Then, he quickly completed his assignment, and, after a short handover, fled to his next mission.
He actually achieved the agreed objective very successfully: help the people inside the grey office, under today’s grey Swiss sky, to think of something white and free!
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/