When I was a manager working in the corporate world, I knew if we treated our staff with kindness and gave them perks they wanted, their work would feel more like a contribution and less like unappreciated labor. With these rather easy things to provide, we’d get even better, more reliable work from them. Seemed like a no brainer to me. Psychology 101, really.
Unfortunately, a lot of business owners and managers haven’t gotten the memo on this yet. But maybe this post will be the inspiration they need.
Now more than ever before, dogs are treated as family members. But unlike kids who go to school or daycare while their parents are at work, the four legged babies are left to fend for themselves at home alone. This often creates a bit of guilt and stress for a dog owner who works outside of the home. So not only are your employees stressed because of the work they do for you, they may also be stressed because they have to leave their dog at home alone.
But there’s an easy fix for this, and it’s one that has multiple advantages for businesses. By allowing employees to bring their dogs to work, here are some of the benefits your business will see.
Research has shown that employers who allow dogs in the workplace have seen reduced stress levels among employees. And this is not only for the employees who own the dogs. Simply having dogs around for other employees to interact with reduces their stress levels as well.
There’s a reason dogs are used as therapy for people having experienced trauma. Businesses should take note!
Does your office resemble that of a soap opera or perhaps have no interaction at all? Most businesses need their employees to work together. And it’s a much better situation when teams like each other. Having dogs in your office can fix this. Studies show pets in the workplace can help strengthen relationships through interaction between colleagues and help otherwise shy employees become engaged in the office.
I’m a worker bee. In fact, when I was working outside of the home I rarely stopped for lunch or breaks. With jobs in work places getting eliminated, yet the work being distributed to remaining employees, many people often feel they don’t have the time for breaks.
Not taking breaks is really unhealthy. But with dogs in the workplace, dog owners are more likely to spend their lunch and breaks walking or playing with their dogs which can provide a much needed mental time-out and reduce stress.
More Productive Work
Allowing employees to bring their dogs in the office can keep employees relaxed and happy, which makes their work more enjoyable. I don’t know about you, but when I’m happy, my productivity soars. In fact, research shows employers who allow dogs in the workplace report an overall increase in productivity compared to when dogs were not allowed.
Work Life Balance
As mentioned in the beginning of this post, I’ve learned first hand that employees will work harder and be more dependable if they’re treated with kindness, allowed flexibility, and shown they are appreciated. For many workers who consider their dogs as part of the family, an employer who allows such family members at the work place shows an empathy that is highly desirable. In fact, if given the choice between working at a company with no perks but more money, as opposed to a lower paying job with many perks, including a dogs allowed policy, studies show more people would choose the latter. Sometimes money isn’t everything.
Of course, there are some cons to allowing dogs in the workplace. One, some employees may have allergies or be fearful of dogs. Two, some work areas might be too dangerous for dogs like warehouses or plants where heavy machinery is used and such. And three, there might be some issues with dogs getting along.
But these seem like a small list of cons compared to all the benefits of allowing dogs in the workplace.
If you as a business owner are thinking about implementing a policy that allows your employees to bring their dogs to work, or if you’re an employee who would like to propose this to your bosses, here are just 5 of many high profile companies that allow dogs in the workplace to take note from.
Google is home to one of the most employee-friendly workplaces in the world. Employees can eat lunch at one of the company’s free gourmet cafes, visit the onsite hair salon or laundry center, get a massage — and bring their dog to work. Google’s dog policy provides employees with a basic set of guidelines including cleaning up after their dog and being mindful of allergic co-workers.
Employees at the World Bearquarters (a.k.a. the world headquarters) can bring their dogs to work. The company even has a chief executive dog, Milford, who celebrates his birthday every year by throwing a grand party for the other company dogs. Build-A-Bear Workshop’s dog-friendly workplace policy is just one reason the company has been named one of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For three years in a row.
To bring their dog to work, employees must submit an application. Once the application is approved, vaccinated dogs are placed on a six-week probation. If everything goes well, the dog can become a permanent member of the workplace. The organization’s careful planning has paid off; since its inception four years ago, no dogs have been removed from the program.
At Amazon, any employee interested in bringing a pet to work must first register the animal as a workplace dog, ensure that the dog is up-to-date on vaccinations and once in the workplace, the dog must remain on a leash unless it is behind a baby gate or in an office with a closed door.
Not only does BarkBox provide amazing subscriptions for fur babies, they also just created a brand new 5,000 square foot pet-friendly work space at their NYC offices designed by Homepolish. Several of the newly designed space images are featured here. Isn’t it beautiful? What a fantastic place to work for both human and dog.
So see, if these companies were able to implement dog policies and have it work, your company can do so too. How wonderful would it be to have people excited about being at work?
Just think, with all the benefits for you, the company employees and of course the doggies…your place of business could turn into one of the best places to work. And who wouldn’t want that?
Thanks for stopping by!