From reducing blood pressure to boosting the immune system, the health
benefits of having pets are well-documented. But spending long days in
a cubicle away from our pets can be stressful, too. Some companies are
finding that their employees are happier and more productive when they can
bring their pets (most often dogs) to work with them.
This trend doesn’t just apply to small hipster companies, either—some household names, including Google and Amazon, are famous for their dog-friendly cultures. In fact, some of today’s most pet-friendly workplaces actually do far more than just allow pets on the job. They may also include pets in other employee benefits normally reserved for humans, such as pet health insurance and bereavement leave for a pet’s death!
Sam testing some reversible fleece pads at the Kuranda office
Is a pet-friendly policy right for your workplace? Here are some common pros and cons to consider:
Potential Benefits Of Allowing Dogs In The Workplace:
- Lower stress levels
- Lower rates of absenteeism
- Higher morale and retention
- More communication and interaction among employees
- Improved work/ life balance, especially for employees working long hours
- Reinforcement of a creative, flexible company culture
- Low cost to employer
Potential Employer Concerns About Allowing Dogs In The Workplace
- Dogs may create a nuisance for co-workers.
A dog-friendly workplace doesn’t have to mean noisy, unruly dogs roaming around!Responsible employers have a screening process to make sure that only well behaved, social dogs are approved for work. The dog-friendly policy may also require leashes and/or baby gates to keep dogs from wandering off.
- Dogs may trigger co-workers’ allergies.
To accommodate allergies, some parts of the office should remain pet-free at all times. In addition, the company’s dog-friendly policy should be made clear during the hiring process, so that no one is surprised to find four-legged friends on the premises.
- Dogs may cause damage.
Employees are usually required to sign an etiquette agreement in advance, which includes accepting responsibility for any clean-up. Obviously, any dog who has shown aggressive or destructive tendencies should not be allowed to participate at all.
Do you think your dog is ready to share your cubicle? Check out the Humane Society’s five tips for getting your boss on board. You can also share data showing that dog-friendly policies help attract and retain great employees such as yourself. Good luck!