Over the course of continued lockdowns and world-wide stress, lots of us made a four-legged addition to our families – and there is nothing cuter than a new puppy! Don’t even get me started on the puppy smell… Just. So. Good. But let’s return to the facts.
A whopping 78% of current pet owners acquired their pets during the pandemic. Now, the health benefits of pet ownership are widely documented, including reduced blood pressure and anxiety, as well as lowered risks of high blood pressure and cholesterol. Not to mention, our little Fidos make excellent company through continued lockdowns.
However, lots of us have now gone back to the office, leaving our floppy-eared friends to fend for themselves at home. And since the big ‘return of the staff’, 47% pet owners have observed “increased problems with chewing, digging and related destruction, along with barking and howling”. The separation anxiety is real – on both sides. So what to do?
Bring them to the office!
Now, it’s not quite as easy as that, but there are real benefits of having dogs in the workplace. So, whether you’re a boss or an employee, it’s worth looking into the possibility.
Let’s talk benefits.
Having a dog around is great for your health. A recent survey revealed their presence relieves stress and anxiety by 55%, boosts happiness by 58% and lowers the heart rate and blood pressure.
Having dogs in the office improves employee satisfaction by 22% and has been reported to increase work absorption by 33.4%.
There’s more collaboration, cooperation and a stronger sense of community in the workplace. Amazon’s dog-friendly policy has “[contributed] to the company’s culture of collaboration”, with more interdepartmental employees interacting regularly. Their dogs have become an “unexpected mechanism for connection”.
However, remember when I said it wouldn’t be as easy as just popping Fluffy in the car and bringing him in?
There are some important cautions to consider.
People have allergies, and others fear dogs, so having them in the office could compromise these employees’ safety at work. However, dog-free zones could be implemented to cater for them.
Having dogs in your office may lead to damaged property, like chewed desk corners or cords, maybe a laptop knocked off a desk by a wagging tail. Friendly Fido might have the best intentions, but his presence may require some puppy-proofing.
Being far from home all day can cause some pups to stress. I know when my little floof is somewhere new, he does not nap, and he does not relax (granted, I have a high-energy little dude). Pups like mine might find they get overstimulated or stressed being out all day.
But fear not! These cautions are simply considerations to plan for in creating a safe, comfortable working environment for everyone.
Here are a few helpful safeguards.
All pups coming to work must have passed basic obedience training and behave well in public/with other dogs. They must also be toilet trained to retain a clean, hygienic space (of course, supplies can be kept on hand for the odd accident).
Everyone has their say. Whether this be a through a customised pulse survey or a team meeting, it’s important that the introduction of pets into the workplace be welcomed and approved by everyone. It’s within this space that negotiations can be made about dog-free zones or particular days of the week where dogs are allowed.
Use a guide. There’s no need to navigate this blind! Better Cities for Pets have a whole bunch of Toolkits that provide advice on everything from policies to safety to pup-grading!
At Vetting.com, we love our workplace woofers, and our UK office is proudly pet-friendly. Meet the dogs of Vetting.com below.
Written by Mary Snowden.
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