“Pets don’t belong in the office”. This common phrase is absolutely wrong! In fact, large companies like Google have embraced the new trend of allowing employees to bring their pets to the office. Dogs are the most popular pets, with over 63 million US households owning at least one dog according to pet owner’s survey.
Having dogs in your offices comes with a list of benefits. If you are looking for a workplace adjustment that promotes employee satisfaction while placing your company in good light, dogs in the office may be just what you need. Read on for more information on the benefits of dogs in the office.
1. Boosts Employee Mental Health and Wellness
With a pet policy in the workplace, your employees can bring dogs to the office and significantly reduce their stress levels. The benefits of dogs in the office are not limited to the employees who bring their pets; they apply to the entire workforce.
According to studies, spending time with dogs and petting them for as little as ten minutes a day can significantly reduce stress. The interaction triggers the release of oxytocin, a feel-good hormone, resulting in a mood boost and lower stress levels. As such, employees can enjoy better mental health.
Besides offering social support, dogs encourage employees to go outside for walks or play. Doing so promotes an active lifestyle that improves employee physical health and wellness in the long run.
2. Dogs Create a Positive Company Image and a Welcoming Culture
One way to set your company apart from the rest is having a pet-friendly workplace. Allowing employees to bring dogs to the office can be a differentiating aspect of your company culture. A workplace that includes pets adds warmth and softness to the face of the brand. It also depicts your company as an inclusive and forward-thinking company image.
Customers and potential employees are more likely to have a better experience engaging with your company when they interact with the office dogs. The welcoming environment means employees are eager to come to work as they get to spend time with their pets. A dig-friendly office will also attract pet-loving professionals, especially millennials, who find dogs to be valuable and convenient.
3. Encourages Communication
Dogs in the workplace have a positive impact on employee social interactions. According to research, dogs can increase conversation frequency among people. With this in mind, having dogs in the office can encourage employee communication, leading to better coworker relationships.
When employees engage with one another, it becomes easier to collaborate and work as a team. Good working relationships coupled with teamwork promote efficiency and productivity in the long term.
4. Increased Productivity
Increased productivity is one of the long-term perks of having a dog in the office. The satisfaction of having pets in the office boosts employee morale and makes them enjoy being at work. Note that job satisfaction reduces employee turnover and increases efficiency. Also, the constant breaks to interact with the dog allow employees to reenergize and regain focus, thus remaining productive.
Since dogs become a source of distraction, they help reduce burnout as employees take mental breaks. Therefore, office dogs can be an excellent way to improve workplace productivity without overworking your staff.
Tips for Making the Office Dog-Friendly
Before implementing a pet policy, you should create a safe space for the dogs and employees to coexist in the office. Below are a few tips to consider before allowing dogs in the office.
- Clearly outline the training, grooming, and dietary requirements for the dogs.
- Make the workspace pet-proof such as tucking away cables to avoid damages.
- Designate pet-free zones such as conference rooms or workspaces for employees with allergies. To make it easy, consider using signage to indicate pet-free zones around the workplace.
- Ensure that vaccinations of all dogs are up-to-date.
- Set ground rules for bringing dogs into the office and make them available to all employees.
Given the benefits of dogs in the office, you may have to rethink your workplace policies to allow employees to bring pets to the office. You also need to create a dog-friendly workplace. Ensure that you have strong pet policies to create a dog-friendly working environment while remaining sensitive to employee needs and safety.