Any dog lover knows just how heartbreaking it can be to leave your dog each day as you head to work. It can be especially difficult in our post-pandemic society as more businesses reopen and require employees to return to the office after more than a year of working from home.
What if you could take your dog to work with you and eliminate the stress for you and your pet?
Benefits of a dog-friendly workplace
Dog-friendly workplaces are becoming more common as employers search for new ways to improve company culture and appeal to the Millennial workforce. Not surprisingly, research supports a dog-friendly work space as studies show that bringing pets to work isn’t just a morale boost for employees, it can also benefit your bottom line by increasing productivity, improving employee collaboration and even attracting new customers.
Nearly a decade ago, a groundbreaking study by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University found that having dogs in the workplace reduces stress in their owners and creates a more satisfying environment for other workers. A more recent study (from 2018) by Nationwide shows that companies are more likely to attract, engage and retain employees when they offer pet-friendly benefits.
12 tips for taking your dog to work
Of course, a pet-friendly workplace must have some ground rules for employees and their dogs to follow. And dog owners must take responsibility to ensure their pup is an asset to the workplace, rather than a distraction. If you’d like to take your dog to work, the American Kennel Club offers these guidelines for taking your dog to work and tips to help your dog be on their best behavior.
- Only take your well-trained and socialized dog to work.
- Train your dog to relax on a dog bed, then bring a cozy bed from home.
- Introduce your dog to coworkers and any other potential office dogs outside of the work environment.
- Leave your dog at home if you’ll be away from your desk more than usual.
- Bring (non-squeaking) toys like dog puzzles or chew toys to keep your pup busy.
- Keep a stash of treats in your desk.
- Keep your dog on a leash, or in a gated area while at your office.
- Prepare for distractions and take your dog for a walk outside if they start barking or seem to be getting restless.
- Take your pet home if he or she misbehaves.
- Remember that not everyone in your office may love dogs as much as you.
- If your dog gets nervous meeting new people, be sure to make it known to others in your office with a simple sign near your desk.
- Find a coworker who won’t mind keeping an eye on your pup if you have to run an errand or step into a meeting.
A pet-friendly workplace can improve a customer’s perception of your company as businesses that allow pets at work tend to be more progressive and forward thinking. Of course, there are some cons to a pet-friendly workplace, too, and having dogs in the office may not be manageable, or even acceptable for every company. If you are lucky enough to work in a dog-friendly company, do your part to ensure taking your dog to work is a positive experience for everyone involved.