Ask anyone about their pet and they will go into extensive detail about how their pet is the absolute best…wait long enough and they will inevitably show you an adorable slideshow of pictures. Now-a-days it’s hard to find anyone who doesn’t love pets, especially dogs. Even those who have allergies still admire dogs and long to have one in their life.
Truth-be-told, I’m actually mildly afraid of large dogs. I had a few laughable “bad” experiences with dogs as a child that somehow manifested as a fear. I was certain I would never get over my fear. That was until I met the most wonderful dog, Roxy. Roxy changed my life. I no longer froze and hid when I saw a dog, instead I would hustle to be in their vicinity in hopes their owner would let me pet them. I finally understood why dogs are (wo)man’s best friend.
It’s this love and adoration that is changing the way we work. Baby boomers currently hold the record for the largest pet-owners by generation. However, millennials are projected to take that title in the coming years. As such, companies everywhere are starting to offer pet-friendly offices in order to secure top talent.
While dogs in the workplace are considered the dream, there are considerations that every company has to concede. Specifically, companies need to decide if this is even a viable option. The largest concern, other than ensuring the building allows pets, is the safety for both the dogs and employees. Dogs should only be introduced to workplaces that can provide safe spaces and in offices where no one has a dog allergy or phobia.
Employers and owners should also consider the training level, age, health, friendliness and requirements of each dog. Despite both being adorable co-workers, a new untrained puppy won’t do as well in an office compared to an older dog who knows how to behave.
While the considerations may seem overwhelming, the benefits certainly outweigh them.
Not only are dogs a wonderful workplace friend, creating a pet-friendly working environment promotes better work-life balance for employees. Dogs in the office have also been proven to boost morale, reduce stress and increase employee productivity.
Pet-friendly offices have also been shown to promote healthy living, team bonding, better communication and patience in the workplace. In addition, companies that offer a pet-friendly office tend to have more success recruiting, retaining and developing employees. This is a direct result of employees feeling loyal to a company that understands how important their four-legged family members are, and acts upon it.
While not all companies offer pet-friendly offices at the moment, this is defiantly a trend that we will continue to see more companies adopt. After all, who doesn’t want to see a dog in their staff meeting? I sure do!