Tomorrow is National Take Your Dog to Work Day. While we love a little 'holiday' excuse for bringing in our favorite pets, many offices are embracing the idea of taking your dog to work every day, by implementing a pet policy that encourage employees to bring in their furry friends.
While a pet-friendly office may seem like a passing fad or something that should be limited to start-ups, there are studies that suggest that having pets at work is good for company wellness. A 2012 study by Virginia Commonwealth University found that the employees who brought their dogs to work produced lower levels of the stress-causing hormone cortisol. Another Central Michigan University study found having a dog in the room can even make human colleagues more cooperative. These results aren't particularly surprising when you think about what it means to have a dog at the office. As an employee with a pet, you'd need to take him/her for a walk or to use the bathroom (automatic breaks!), you'd have a built-in form of stress relief, and it makes your workplace seem more like a home away from home.
The popularity of a pro-pet policy is increasing. According to a 2008 national poll of working Americans 18 and older by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, 17% reported their company permits pets at work. Google, Etsy, Proctor & Gamble, Ben & Jerry's, Amazon, and Clif Bar are just a few of the most prominent examples of employers that permit pets at work.
Before you jump on this corporate trend, however, there are three things you need to consider:
1.) Are allergies a concern? If your employees are in close quarters or if someone in your office is severely allergic to dogs, you may need to reconsider or create a specific, healthy environment for them to work in.
2.) Will the animals be safe? Not all work environments are conducive to having pets. Large warehouses or factories are certainly no place for a dog!
3.) Will they cause distractions? Be sure that if you implement a pet policy, you have rules set in place. Will you allow pets every day, or just on Fridays? Will you allow all types and breeds of pets, or just dogs? Do you require that the animals are housebroken and well-trained? Consider the impact these decisions will have on the environment as a whole, and not just on the pet owner themselves.
Would you be interested in bringing your pet to work? Comment below!