Are Flip-flops Harmful To Your Career?

As we enter into the dog days of summer, a poll conducted by Monster shows the impact of casual dress in the workplace. Three quarters of workers polled (77 percent) feel flip-flops are unprofessional, while an additional seven percent simply don’t want to see colleagues’ feet while at work. In contrast, just over one in ten (11 percent) believe flip-flops are generally acceptable attire.

Monster, the premier global online employment solution and flagship brand of Monster Worldwide, Inc. 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. International findings included:
  • Flip-flops are generally acceptable attire: 11%
  • Flips-flops are acceptable only for women: 5%
  • They're okay, but I personally don't like seeing feet at work: 7%
  • Flip-flops look unprofessional: 77%

Across the regions there are notable differences between the Americas and Europe, with 86 percent 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 68 percent believing flip-flops inappropriate.

Country by country, a similar number of respondents from the US (87 percent), Canada (86 percent), Mexico (82 percent), UK (81 percent) and Sweden (81 percent) veto flip-flops in the workplace, compared to a smaller percentage across the Netherlands (70 percent), Austria (60 percent) and Italy (60 percent).

Conversely, a quarter of all respondents in Austria (25 percent) and Italy (23 percent) feel flip-flops are appropriate footwear for work, the highest percentage of all regions. By contrast, the lowest numbers of respondents who feel the same are Mexican (six percent) American (five percent), and Canadian (five percent).