In recent years there has been an increasing amount of research into the benefits of allowing dogs in the workplace. Studies have found that it can increase staff motivation and productivity and reduce stress. But should businesses adopt a pet-friendly policy? Attic Recruitment takes a look at the pros and cons of dogs in the office.
The benefits of a dog friendly office
While it very much depends on the type of business that you are running and the sort of equipment and moving around your staff is required to do, there are a number of benefits to having a dog friendly workplace, especially in an office environment, which include:
- Dogs in the office can make employees feel more relaxed and comfortable. There is something calming and relaxing about being surrounded by our furry friends.
- Studies have also shown that having dogs in the office can lower cholesterol, improve heart health and result in fewer visits to the doctor. It also encourages people to exercise as they take their dogs out for that lunchtime walk. A walk can bring people back to the office feeling fresh and invigorated.
- Dogs are often a common interest for people and bonding can occur over discussing and spending time with each other’s dogs, which can Improve relationships and collaboration.
- It is great for the animals as they aren’t left alone and the owner doesn’t have to carry the guilt of leaving their dog at home or spend lots of money on doggy day care. The benefits for the company are that you have a much higher motivated and productive employee.
- A dog friendly office can attract employees and help to retain them. Where else can they take their dog to work? While it is becoming increasingly popular among even the largest corporations like Facebook and Google, it is still not widely adopted.
The downsides of having dogs in the office
For every positive, unfortunately there are negatives and not everyone will be entirely comfortable with having dogs running around the office for a number of reasons.
- Some people are allergic to dogs and the prospect of a daily runny nose, sneezing and coughing is not a pleasant thought. It can have a very demotivating impact on sufferers if they have to deal with this every day.
- Being afraid of dogs, or not being a dog lover, is another consideration. While for those who love their pooches, this can be hard to understand, some people do actually have phobias about dogs.
- Health and safety – While even the best trained, lovable canines can be adorable and loving, they aren’t always predictable. The issue of a dog biting an employee, or tripping them over, also needs to be taken into account as you don’t want to end up with a legal claim against the business.
- Distraction – Most people love a pup and will spend time stroking and petting them, this can be a big distraction. Imagine how much time could be spent fawning over the cute little puppy that has just joined the office or taking dogs outside for regular hygiene breaks.
When creating a pet policy for your office, there are many things that employers need to evaluate. Think of all of the employees and their welfare as well as whether you are likely to bring customers to the premises and the implications that having dogs could bring.
How many dogs are likely to be bought to the office and how will this affect how your teams can carry out their work? While it has many positive benefits, there are other implications to consider.