Are Office Dogs at Work a Barking Mad Idea?
Written by Geoff Newman on 7/30/2014
Having an office dog has become increasingly popular for many companies. Many such as Amazon and Ben and Jerry’s even encourage staff to bring in their pet. At Recruitment Genius, we have our very own dog called Winston. Our employees love it when he comes in and the mood within the office is automatically lifted. With this in mind we have identified the pros and cons of bringing a furry creature into a busy office.
Pro: Can boost office morale
Dogs tend to love unconditionally and are your best friend if you give them attention. They are completely ignorant of work issues and just want to be noticed. These personality traits can have a great effect in the workplace. Their general happy nature can bring a change of perspective and even improve relationships among colleagues.
Pro: Beneficial to your health
Having a dog around can improve your employee’s mood. This is turn can benefit their health physically and emotionally. It is a known fact that dogs have the potential to lower blood pressure and reduce stress levels. A healthier workplace will ensure you business stays on top form.
Pro: Encourage bonding
Like most pets, dogs have the power to generate interactions that might otherwise not happen. Therefore helping build rapport between employees. They can also help soothe tense situations in the office by refocusing the attention onto them.
Pro: Good incentives for applicants
Allowing dogs into the office could be a great free perk to help recruit some great candidates. When considering other job offers, a perk such as an office dog may tempt a candidate to choose you over a competitor. They may reflect well on your company as being open-minded and caring.
Con: Can be a great distraction
Having a dog wandering around could reduce concentration and become more of a distraction. Even when they’re behaving, employees may naturally pay attention to them rather than their work at hand. This could reduce productivity to work.
Con: May heighten allergies and germs
Pet allergies may be a serious issue for some staff. Some may be allergic to the dander or to their fur. Unless you get a dog like Winston that is part-Poodle and so doesn’t molt. This could affect their respiratory system and cause major discomfort such as sneezing and watering eyes. Therefore you need to assure the office has medical supplies and remove the pet should symptoms arise.
Con: Barking, slobbering and scratching
A yappy dog that dribbles everywhere may annoy your employees. This can often be overcome by choosing the right breed however not everyone likes the feel of a dog’s tongue licking their leg under the table. Therefore it is important to ensure the dog is well behaved and disciplined.
Con: Not everyone is a dog person
If you like the idea of bringing a dog into the office then it is important to consider your employees’ views. Some may have had encountered bad experiences, have a fear of them or just not like them. There should be policies in place to ensure everyone is comfortable. Whilst ensuring productivity and employee well-being is not compromised.
Though not having an office dog in every business is appropriate, for some they could do wonders. If you like the idea of bringing a dog into the office and all staff are comfortable with this then why not give it a try? Review productivity over a month and your results will tell you if an office dog is a good or bad idea.