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).

In general, respondents express strong opinions on flip-flop wearing as either acceptable or unacceptable for work; while a mere five percent 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 Charles Purdy, Monster.com's career expert. "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 Monster ®, 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.

About Monster Worldwide

Monster Worldwide, Inc., parent company of Monster, the premier global online employment solution for more than a decade, strives to inspire people to improve their lives. With a local presence in key markets in North America, Europe, and Asia, Monster works for everyone by connecting employers with quality job seekers at all levels and by providing personalised career advice to consumers globally. Through online media sites and services, Monster delivers vast, highly targeted audiences to advertisers. To learn more about Monster's industry-leading products and services, visit www.monster.com. More information about Monster Worldwide is available at http://about-monster.com.

Copyright Business Wire 2010