Michelle Sanders recently got a job at an insurance company and did wonderfully at making them comfortable about her barefoot lifestyle.
She kept tactfully bringing it up and is now allowed to shed her minimal footwear and go completely barefoot!
"So I'll start by saying, when I applied to the company I went in knowing that this was probably the best shot I'd ever have at a reasonable employer. It's a company that takes tremendous pride in its culture being 'work hard, play hard' with great benefits. So I was disappointed when part of the phone call with my offer covered needing to wear shoes - evidently one of my references tipped them off. I've been mostly compliant - I had a pair of crochet flats made on Etsy - but I've entered/left the building/wandered my corner of it shoeless. I've kept the topic more or less active, explaining my 'sacrifice' of working here in my get-to-know-you department post. Finally I was recently in HR for something unrelated, and the person who gave me my offer broached the subject. Evidently, my 'keep it from dying' strategy worked, because there was some further discussion among managers with mixed reactions, but one of the more influential ones being fascinated and even doing a little research into barefooting benefits. Anyway, after a bit more discussion, the conclusion was nothing was really opposing the idea, and if I could get a doctor's note as a formality, I'd have a green light. The HR person's best comment was 'I just want people to see you when there's snow on the ground!' I delivered the note this morning."
Michelle shared what she thinks is the key to helping others be more comfortable with the barefoot lifestyle:
"If I had to add one piece of advice, it'd be to be have a friendly attitude and work at good relationships first, then let that work to your barefoot bargaining advantage. I could have been pushy and confrontational months ago when I got the offer, but I doubt I would have gotten very far."
Congratulations, Michelle, and great advice! Hopefully we in the barefoot community can continue to work in a friendly manner toward exponentially more acceptance of bare feet in the work place as time goes on!
For more information on the legalities and benefits of going barefoot at work, visit our employment facts page.