My colleague gets statically shocked by the equipment (standard tech office with keyboards, trackpads, monitors, and laptops) roughly half a dozen times a day. None of the rest of us are getting shocked at all.

How do we prevent him from getting shocked?

  • 51
    Is he new? Maybe he just needs some time to get grounded. Oct 26, 2017 at 21:20
  • 3
    This question is probably better at Physics.
    – David K
    Oct 26, 2017 at 22:08
  • 5
    Shoes. His shoes are the reason. If the shoes insulate too well, you'll build up static. It's got to equalize somehow. Oct 26, 2017 at 23:47
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    @DavidK Physics mod here - this would be off topic for us there. We can handle questions about, say, how static electric shocks work in general, but identifying the environmental factors that cause them in a specific case is firmly out of our scope.
    – David Z
    Oct 27, 2017 at 0:52
  • 3
    This might be a question better suited to Lifehacks, since it can be equally applicable at home or in public. In fact... How can I avoid getting static shocks in the winter? How to stop static shocks on the office? Oct 27, 2017 at 4:45

3 Answers 3


Suggest he take off his shoes.

@DavidSchwartz's answer is excellent. If, however, he does not want to invest in anything, and your workplace is comfortable with this, he could simply take off his shoes. Very likely, he's building up static because either his chair or his shoes are not grounding as necessary to keep from building up static.

I know it can sound very unprofessional in some domains - and it is - so I don't suggest it unless your workplace is very relaxed and is absolutely fine with him doing just that. For instance, if there are high profile clients going in and out of your office all the time, don't do it. But if you're a kind of back-end tech company who basically sits in a back room all day, this could be an option.

  • 4
    Perhaps the colleague should invest in new shoes altogether
    – Bamboo
    Oct 27, 2017 at 3:09
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    Is there a way to know what shoes do this? I've had this issue literally all my life (I've even built passive "time to get shocked by the shelf so I don't get shocked by the laptop x1000 times worse" movements into my daily routine), but I'm kind of uncomfortable taking my shoes off at work. Oct 27, 2017 at 14:52

I would strongly suggest just treating the areas they work in with anti-static spray. Typically, spraying only once a month is sufficient. If the floors or carpets are regularly deep cleaned or mopped, treating after cleaning is best so you don't remove the anti-static coating.

You can use ACL Staticide. It's available in spray bottles, large refills, and aerosols. Getting a one gallon refill is probably the cheapest solution. Just re-use an old spray bottle (or buy one at a home and garden store).

You can punch "ACL Staticide 2001" into Amazon or any search engine to find sources.


Possible that an anti-static spray on the carpet(?) would help, but it is odd that only your colleague gets shocked.

It could be his shoes (which insulate him) or clothes (which could create the charge). Guys in particular seem to wear the same shoes. Leather soles tend to be less likely to build up a static charge and rubber soles the most.

It could be that his (or is the equipment used by all?) desk/equipment is not properly grounded so over time a static charge builds up.

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