Estimated reading time: 2 mins
Bringing your dog into the workplace has become increasingly common in recent years, with many companies recognizing the potential benefits that having a canine companion in the office can bring. But before you decide to bring Fido to work, it is important to consider both the pros and cons of this unique working arrangement.
On one hand (or paw), there are numerous advantages to having a dog in the office. Studies have found that dogs can reduce stress levels among employees and increase productivity by providing a source of comfort and companionship during long days spent in an office setting. From reducing absenteeism due to illness, to promoting positive interactions between coworkers, dogs can be powerful morale boosters. And research published by Harvard Medical School indicates that petting a dog for just ten minutes can lead to reductions in blood pressure and heart rate, which could be beneficial for those feeling overwhelmed by their workloads.
But there are also risks associated with bringing your pup into the workplace that cannot be ignored. For one thing, pet allergies among employees may be triggered if someone is allergic or sensitive to animal dander or fur; this could lead to uncomfortable situations for all involved. Additionally, pets may cause disruption if they bark too much or wander around the space unsupervised — thus distracting from work activities. Furthermore, some employers may worry about liability issues related to having an animal onsite; although these fears are usually unfounded as long as common sense safety precautions are taken (e.g., keeping dogs on leashes at all times).
In order to make sure everyone remains comfortable with a workplace pet policy (including both those who choose not bring pets and those who do), it is important that employers create clear guidelines regarding expectations such as how often visitors must clean up after their animals while they’re onsite and when they should keep them away entirely (i.e., during meetings or lunchtime). Furthermore, it may be helpful for managers or HR personnel to provide resources such as training courses for pet owners so they know how best manage their pup’s behavior while at work — ensuring everyone’s safety and wellbeing is maintained at all times.
When implemented responsibly with proper guidance from employers, bringing your pup into work can have tremendous benefits — but it is also important not overlook potential risks of having an animal present in the workplace environment either. By understanding both sides of this debate thoroughly before making any decisions about inviting furry friends into your workspace you will ensure everyone remains safe and productive no matter what!
- Brownlowe EK & Hart LA (2017) “The effects of stress reduction activities on job satisfaction: A systematic review” Stress Health: Journal of The International Society For The Investigation Of Stress 33(3): 214-223
- Allen K et al (2018) “The effects of companion animals on blood pressure: A systematic review” PLOS One 13(4): e0194164
- Wells DL & Hepper PG (2016) “The impact of companion animals on psychological wellbeing across different life stages: A systematic review” Human Animal Interaction Bulletin 4(3): 162–178