Tips and stories to add value to you and your organisation
Funny isn’t it how our social approach to parts of the body have changed over time. Zip back 200 years and a lady’s ankles were strictly off limits to the casual glance.
Now we can see as many ankles as we like, unless there is snow on the ground, or we are wading through a muddy river.
Knees though are a source of constant debate, which I find surprising. Knees do not scream sexual invitations at us, there has never been a ‘page 3 for knees’ and Saturday football would look odd if knees had to be kept covered at all times.
Outside the world of sport and inside the world of office life it seems that knees are a source of trouble.
Ladies are allowed to wear skirts and yet in some places they are reprimanded for showing their knees. Men are the same and long trousers are considered smart and professional, whereas shorts are often considered to undermine a sense of male authority and tend to be banned.
At no point during any job interview have I been asked to comment on my knees. I have been told I’ve been hired for my intellect, capacity to work hard and my ability to drink revolting machine-made tea.
Turn up to work in a pair of shorts though and suddenly I’m on a par with a grubby little schoolboy.
When it’s 30 degrees outside and I want to work effectively I like to be comfortable and so shorts do seem like a sensible option.
I’ve been wearing shorts to business coaching sessions all Summer so far and curiously my work has been to the same high standard. Nobody has swooned at the sight of my knees and nobody has complained that a bit of leg on view has disrupted the flow of our conversation.
If we are paying people to work for us, it makes sense for them to be comfortable in the office. I’m sure it’s not a secret that customers and staff all have knees, so I really don’t see the point in a modern, collaborative workplace of making such a fuss about short trousers or short skirts.
And if skirts are tolerated, I wonder that it isn’t a bit discriminatory to prevent gentlemen from swearing appropriately smart shorts.
So this week, let’s smash the system with our knees! Let’s be honest about how we can all dress smartly and still be comfortable …and productive… on a hot day!
Next week: Leadership Through Paper
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