I think we can all agree that life in the office can be stressful. With many forced into remote working situations in the past few months, workers are realizing that working in your pajamas isn’t the only perk. Having your loyal dogs in the office can be a big productivity booster.
According to the American Pet Products Association, in 2019-202, 67 percent of U.S. families own a pet, with dogs being the most popular choice. And why not? Dogs provide companionship, opportunities for exercise, and undying loyalty that can boost mood and encourage better mental health. So when top companies are recruiting, it makes sense that an emerging perk in the benefits package includes Fido.
More companies are allowing employees to bring their pets to work with them, offering pet insurance, or allowing personal time to deal with issues with pets such as bereavement or sick time. According to the Society of Human Resource Managers, these new offerings are bringing a big benefit to companies–employee retention.
Bringing dogs into the workplace has several benefits according to the American Kennel Club. They boost your mood, encourage social interaction with coworkers, and lessen the costs of doggie daycare/walking services for employees. If your employees don’t have to run home to let out their furry best friends, they are more likely to focus more on their work, increasing the amount of time they are willing to stay at the office. Plus, dogs lighten the mood when things get tense at the office.
So should your office go to the dogs? Here are a few things to consider before making your office a pet-friendly environment.
- Not all dogs are office-friendly–all dogs are lovable. There are no bad breeds. But there are dogs that are better suited to a group environment. Sometimes space is a factor. While we all love Marmaduke, a Great Dane or other large breeds can sometimes cause issues of space in tight quarters. Other dogs may not get along with other dogs. Anything that distracts from the work at hand, such as refereeing conflict between animals destroys any boosted productivity that you might otherwise gain.
- Not all people are dog friendly–consider employees with allergies or fears of dogs. If allergies could be an issue, make accommodations for those that might want to work in a dog-free zone. Or consider only allowing dogs in the office on certain days of the week/month, so that those that have allergies or fears have some peaceful time too.
- Make your office safe for pets–curious dogs are known to eat, well, everything. If you have plant life (and you should!) make sure that your plants are either out of reach or are non-toxic to pets. For a list of plants that should be avoided, click here.
- Create a policy first–while it may seem simple to throw open the doors to the canine crowd, you can save yourself a lot of headaches by having a policy in place first. Outline what is acceptable behavior. Definitely have an office-ready ‘test’ to check for temperament and behavior issues. This eliminates any issues of favoritism down the line in the event that issues arise.
- Create space for them–make sure that you have easy access to an acceptable place for potty breaks and exercise time. Ensuring that owners are picking up after their pets can smooth the road for those that are less enthused about furry coworkers.
Here at Plantscapers, our Golden Retriever, Marley is an irreplaceable part of our team. Her sweet demeanor and ready smiles welcome all that come to visit. We love having a pet-friendly workplace and would encourage you to do the same. Thinking about letting the dogs in? Let us help you find pet-friendly plants to make your space welcoming to both dogs and humans! Drop us a line and we’ll be in touch.