Shoes Optional: San Francisco Startup Breaks Norms With Shoe-Less Office Space - NBC Bay Area
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Shoes Optional: San Francisco Startup Breaks Norms With Shoe-Less Office Space

“The whole concept was just to make you feel comfortable, so it’s a way to ground you,” said Gusto employee, Charles Sim.

San Francisco Startup Breaks Norms with Shoeless Office Space

Ever heard of an office where shoes are optional? San Francisco startup, Gusto, is changing the way their employees spend their workdays by creating a shoeless work environment.

(Published Monday, May 28, 2018)

Ever heard of an office where shoes are optional?

San Francisco startup, Gusto, is changing the way their employees spend their workdays by creating a shoe-less work environment.

The shoe-less work environment concept started in the early days of the company and eventually developed into a tradition that was carried over to their new Pier 70 office.

“We started Gusto six years ago in a house in Palo Alto. Three of us as co-founders were living there at the time and we always took our shoes off at home, that’s just how we were raised,” said CEO and co-founder, Josh Reeves. “We took our shoes off working in the house, we moved to an office and we kept that tradition.”

Photo credit: Jennifer Gonzalez / NBC Bay Area

As weird as a no-shoes office sounds, Reeves explained that they’re not overly regimented and are pretty flexible with their employees. If someone is uncomfortable going barefoot in the office they have full autonomy to wear socks or slippers. The company also carries socks and disposable slippers for guests who visit.

“The whole concept was just to make you feel comfortable, so it’s a way to ground you,” said Gusto employee, Charles Sim.

Unlike most offices, Gusto’s was inspired to feel like a living room in an effort to make it feel like a home. The entrance of their Pier 70 office is lined up with shoe cubbies and as you walk toward the center of the building you’ll find an array of couches and rugs with a few workstations.

Launched in 2012, Gusto is a middleman management company that helps employers automate and simplify payroll, benefits and HR. The company now serves over 60,000 businesses nationwide.

“People spend a lot of time at work, so many of us, including myself, spend the majority of our day here,” said Reeves. “Everyone at Gusto is here because they want to help the customer, it’s just that while we’re doing that we want to make sure our space is an environment where we feel proud and excited to spend a lot of time.”

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