Dog is man’s best friend—so why not bring your dog to work with you? Ten years ago, we lived in a time where bringing your dog to work with you would be absurd. Times are changing though, and an increasing number of employers are altering their company policies to allow employees to bring their pooches in with them to the office.
In fact, many bigwig companies—Google, Amazon, and Ben and Jerry’s, for example—already practice dog-friendly policies. Google, frequently on CNNMoney’s list of 100 Best Companies to Work For, encourages employees to bring their dogs in with them—provided the dogs are well behaved and allergies are not a problem, they will be welcomed with open arms. Moreover, Google refers to themselves in particular as a “dog company” in their Code of Conduct, when addressing their warm welcome to dogs, but not cats, to their offices.
So why do this? Research indicates that there is a positive impact on businesses that are “dog friendly.” Companies will see happier employees with an increase in both morale and productivity (Yahoo, 10/13/11) In fact, it’s good for their health! Research indicates that dogs decrease stress, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and boost our immunity (Medicinenet.com, 9/25/08) With the positive effects dogs have on humans, why would we not consider letting them into the workplace?
Yes—there are proven benefits to allowing dogs into the workplace, but what about the disadvantages? Bringing a pet into the workplace gives light to a whole slew of problems. Will there by liability issues? What do you do about allergy sufferers? Will dogs bring fleas into the workplace? What about disruptions such as “doggy bathroom” breaks? Employers are faced with all these concerns when considering changing the company policy on dogs. But how do dog-friendly companies address these issues? Big player Amazon addresses some of these concerns by requiring the dog to be registered with the company, up-to-date on vaccines, and on a leash at all times. As more companies move towards pet-friendly policies, company procedures will progress.
The 14th-annual Take Your Dog to Work Day, promoting dog adoption, will be June 22, 2012. For more information, please visit http://www.takeyourdog.com/.
Readers: Do you think having a dog in the workplace improves or hinders workplace productivity?