Dogs and humans have been together for 33,000 years. Our relationship with dogs began in South East Asia. Today they are popular pets. We also use them as working animals.
Hundres of millions of people worldwide love dogs. Studies have shown that some people love dogs even more than humans. And it’s no surprise why; dogs are loyal and loving creatures. But do they belong in the workplace? And what are the pros and cons of having an office dog?
Do dogs belong in the workplace?
In the UK, an estimated 24% of the adult population own at least one dog. That means that there are roughly 8.9 million pet dogs in the the country. The US has the highest number of dog owners – 36.5% of households have a pet dog.
Large companies, such as Google, Amazon, and Ben & Jerry’s allow their employees to bring their pets to work.
Whilst having a pet in the office is associated with many benefits, there can also be legal and interpersonal issues that a business needs to be mindful of before allowing employees to bring their pets in.
The pros of having dogs in the office
According to a spokesperson at PETSPRING, one benefit of allowing dogs in the office is that they can help reduce employee stress. They can also improve workplace morale and increase employee satisfaction.
Companies that allow their employees to bring their pets to work may also be providing them with a financial benefit. Doggy daycare and dog-walking services are not cheap. Allowing your staff to bring in their pets can be a great perk. It could also boost employee retention.
Allowing pets in the office may also improve a customer’s perception of your business, which helps you build stronger relationships. Customers will get to experience a fun side to your business. Interacting with a dog may also help them relax.
Studies have also shown that businesses with office pets come across as more progressive and forward-thinking.
The cons of having dogs in the office
Some employees might be allergic to dogs; especially their fur, saliva, and dead skin. Being in the same room as a dog might trigger a severe allergic reaction in some people. Even if you check to make sure that all workers are allergy free, what about future job applicants?
Some employers may not like dogs, while others suffer from cynophobia. Cynophobia means a fear of dogs. Even if you check and determine that this problem does not exist in your office, you cannot be sure that future job applicants like pets in the office.
If you work in a big office, creating pet-free areas might solve some of these problems.
Although having a dog in the office boosts worker morale, it might also undermine productivity. Some employees may spend more time than they should petting the office dog or playing with it rather than getting on with their work.
An office dog cannot just sit around all day. It needs regular exercise. Walking the dog will use up valuable work time – at the expense of productivity.
Is a dog right for your office?
Every office is different. It is up to you to decide whether having an office pet, such as a dog, or allowing employees to bring in their pets, is the right decision for your business.
Before deciding whether to allow your employees to bring their pets into the office, consider the pros and cons. Ask your staff what they think.