Did you know that there are 9 million dogs in the UK? And, 33% of UK homes have a dog? Well, it’s true. Have you ever considered bringing your dog to work with you? Well, more and more public places are now deemed as pet appropriate — including the office.
Millennials tend to do things a little bit differently and have stimulated an evolution of pet-friendly office culture in the last ten years. The emphasise has been so great that some of the world’s most well-known brands like Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Airbnb, Nestle and Uber have adopted pet-friendly office policies to keep their talent satisfied.
Will your business follow suit? In this article, we have broken down some quick and certainly not exhaustive pros and cons of a dog-friendly office.
The Benefits of Having Dogs in the Workplace
Stress Retriever: Studies have shown that people who brought their dogs to work had lower hormonal stress levels.
Pet Care Costs: If you hire a dog walker or use a doggy daycare, then bringing your dog to work could be a huge money saver.
Positive colleague interaction: Dogs can act as a focal point of interest between work colleagues to stimulate positive relationships.
Attracts top talent: A dog-friendly office could be a deal clincher for potential employees, like flexitime.
Increases performance: Because they don’t have to run home to take out their dog, employees at dog-friendly offices tend to have fewer absences and work longer hours.
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The Disadvantages of Having Dogs in the Workplace
Phobias and pet allergies: Studies have demonstrated that up to 4 out of 10 people are allergic to animals with fur; this, coupled with your colleagues who have dog phobias, could be a problem.
Doggy Disruptors: Some people can’t get along in the office. It’s possible that dogs can have personality clashes with other dogs. Also, some dog’s personalities may be too excitable for the workplace and create a distraction to staff. (Solutions: one dog per office, designated days for dogs and well-behaved dogs only).
Barking: Dogs barking, whining, and snoring in the middle of the office can be very annoying and disruptive. Again, only bring a dog to work that is well trained and housebroken.
Dog duties: When your dog needs walked or taken outdoors for a bathroom break, this will take up valuable office time. (One solution could be to take turns, but will require buy-in from your colleagues).
At the end of the day, whether you decide to create a dog-friendly office environment will depend on whether your staff and colleagues actually like dogs (an excellent place to start). Perhaps a one dog per office rule would work for your business. Best to hold an office-wide consultation and take it from there, or utilise a trial period to test whether it’s practical for your team.
At LUMENSTREAM we’re certainly seeing the benefits from our designated canine colleague, Pickles – so we’re all for it.