Did you know that 20% of companies now allow dogs in the workplace? This number has steadily grown as companies realize that dogs in the workplace help to reduce stress and can make employees happier and even healthier. Dogs in the workplace have been found to build teamwork, lower blood pressure, and heart attack risk. For employers this means fewer sick days, lower health insurance premiums and less chronic health issues.
Companies such as Amazon have long been known for their employee-friendly workplace, providing such perks as dog friendly fountains and free dog biscuits. Some companies even have dogs on their Board of Directors. P&G’s Iams and Eukanuba pet-food divisions not only give their employees free dog food, but have a Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen named Griffin currently who currently serves as the VP of Canine Communications. Tito’s Handmade Vodka carries out pet rescues with employees acting as foster parents for rescued animals.
Think about it. After a long work day, you don’t have to worry about rushing home and letting your dog out. You get to spend quality time with your dog and you don’t have to worry about hiring a dog walker for the mid-day break. A win-win for both parties.
However, know that not all dogs don’t have the right temperament to be in a work environment. As June 24 is Take Your Dog to Work Day, it will be much more successful if you follow these ground rules:
- Establish a “pet-free zone” for employees who may not like dogs or are allergic to dogs.
- Always keep your dog on a leash in public areas – don’t assume all dogs are well mannered and friendly
- Bring your own water and food bowls
- Bring a dog blanket or toys so your dog feels at home
- Use a baby gate or crate to keep your dog confined to your area
- Take the stairs – your dog or other employees might not be comfortable in a combined space on the elevator
- Dog proof your workspace by removing all cords, trash and valuable paperwork and be careful of poisonous plants
- Bring a pooper scooper and baggies so you can clean up after your dog
Or encourage your boss to have an office dog where all employees who want to get involved share the dog and alternate lunchtime walks and weekend visits. The main rule – have fun!