There’s a growing trend to allow dogs in the workplace, and there’s a lot of evidence that letting people bring their furry friends to the office can result in happier, healthier (and harder-working) employees.
If you’ve been secretly wanting to talk to your boss about converting to a dog-friendly office, consider the following:
The good stuff.
- Dogs are awesome. When you're stressed, dogs are a great stress reliever.
- Dogs give you a reason to get out of the office to get some fresh air and stretch your legs every few hours.
- Dogs are great icebreakers for officemates who may be shy or new to the environment.
- Dogs demonstrate, quite beautifully, how to chill out under unusual circumstances.
- The dog-friendly office sets the tone for getting involved in animal-friendly philanthropic endeavors.
- If your entire office is comprised of dog lovers, it helps bring the team together.
- Dog lovers “get” other dog lovers. If there is someone in your office with whom you have a personality conflict, dogs offer a wonderful reason to connect.
The not-so-good stuff.
- Dogs sometimes bark, and could potentially bark loudly for a long time.
- Visitors to your office may not have the same affinity for dogs.
- Allergies. Enough said.
- In my experience, you can expect a decrease in productivity, because you’ll be walking, feeding, watering, picking up toys, cleaning up accidents and simply admiring and talking about the different things the dogs are doing throughout the day with everyone who walks by.
- Sometimes, dogs bite. This is the biggest reason to think critically before bringing your dog into the office. Any signs of instability, anxiety or fear need to be closely examined before you bring your dog into a potentially high stress and inconsistent environment like a busy office.
Want to give a dog-friendly office a try? Take Your Dog to Work Day is coming up on June 24 – it’s a great place to start!
Jaime Migdal is the founder and CEO of Fetchfind, a talent recruitment and services organization dedicated to the pet industry.
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