Smith was inspired to start her etiquette consulting firm in Boston after personally facing workplace issues like this and others. She said that she comes across other common annoyances such as people who floss their teeth at their desk and people who remove their shoes.
Smith isn’t the only one who hears barefoot complaints. The Adecco survey found that more than four in ten people were grossed out when their coworker removed their shoes. Respondents also found it offensive when a co-worker’s attire consisted of ripped jeans, flip-flops, strapless clothing or backless tops or dresses.
Smith warned that by taking off your shoes at the office or slyly clipping a hang nail or pesky cuticle without going to the bathroom can cost you your job.
“People think, ‘Oh I’m a good worker, it’s not that big a deal,’ but I’ve had managers over and over again tell me, ‘Oh, Jodi, when we have to do another reduction I know who’s first on my list,’” Smith said. “These soft social skills really make a difference.”
Adecco’s Tim Gates said that he’s experienced a variety of faux paux’s during his 17 years’ experience of temporary placements. He said that he’s watched people put on deodorant at their desk and even came cross people wearing T-shirts to work with inappropriate logos and slogans.
Gates believes that a conversation about the matter and a little common sense can help resolve the problems.
“Some things should be done at home and some things should be done at work,” he said. “Maybe keep those things separate.”