There are definite, proven benefits of a dog in the office, but there are also considerations that should be made regarding the potential disadvantages. Are You Barking Mad To Allow An Office Dog?
According to confused.com, 16% of workers were reported to have office pets and 55% said they’d be more motivated if they had a furry (or scaled) friend in the office. Caring for an office pet depends largely on what type of animal it is, a fish for instance, is fairly easy to maintain whereas a dog would require a lot more thought and dedication to care for properly.
The benefits of introducing an office dog include:
Being in the company of an office dog all day will improve the mood of employees through play and general interaction.
An office dog will also encourage colleagues to talk to each other about a common topic (the dog).
Playing with or petting an animal can increase levels of the stress-reducing hormone oxytocin and decrease production of the stress hormone cortisol. In stressful work situations petting and playing with a dog will help to calm employees.
Work cycles are enforced
Dogs need regular exercise and, as such, employees will be forced to take a break from the desk in order to take them for a quick walk. This is not only great for productivity (regular breaks are known to increase productivity) but also good for health and decreasing sickness within the workforce.
As mentioned above getting more exercise through taking a dog for walks is a great way for your employees to maintain fitness, both physically and mentally.
Just like the initial purchase of any pet, considerations need to be made and taken seriously.
Allergies should be considered
Before bringing a dog into the office employees should be asked about allergies. It’s no good having a dog to improve morale, health and stress levels if certain employees cannot come to the office for fear of streaming eyes and a blocked nose.
Not everyone likes dogs
Some people have a fear of dogs and it’s unfair to ignore this and place them in an uncomfortable situation. If you’ve got uncomfortable and potentially scared employees, they won’t be working and they won’t be happy!
Dogs can be a distraction
Dogs are obviously fun to play with and pet, this is what reduces stress etc. The problem is when the petting starts to impact on the work that should be done during office hours.
Distractions include spending too long petting or playing with the dog. Feeding it or cleaning up after it.
If you’ve got clients attending your offices for meetings then you might want to consider alternative arrangements for the office dog. You may appreciate the benefits but not everyone will and you don’t want anything to affect potential business.
Prior to opening up the office to our canine friends, businesses need to introduce policies to control and set guidelines as to the do’s and don’t’s of bringing mans best friend to work.
Do you have an office dog or pet? Do you notice the above benefits? Let us know in the comments