It’s amazing how times have changed. Not too long ago, companies shunned the idea of having pet dogs in the workplace. But now, firms, including global giants, are recognizing the benefits of allowing pet dogs in work areas. If you’re lucky, you can finally work with a dog on your lap.
Although a mere 8% of US companies (as of 2018) have accommodated pet dogs in the workplace, it’s an improvement from 5% in 2013. The increase is modest, yet, it’s a good sign. At least, more employees are now able to take their dogs to work without waiting for the National Take Your Dog to Work Day. And maybe, for a lot of them, work has never been so, so fun.
If there’s someone who’s benefiting from this (hopefully) slowly emerging new office normal, it’s the pet owners themselves. They worry less about their pets being left at home, alone. They don’t have to rush home to be with their beloved pet. If this is the case, why are some companies allowing it? Why are they willing to loosen policies when it comes to pets? What is in it for them?
Let’s try to look at the possible reasons why from an employer’s perspective:
It boosts employee productivity
A pet dog can motivate you to go to work every day. When you’re off to work with your dog, there’s no reason to hate Mondays. Just seeing your dog beside you is enough to brighten up your day, even at work. When you’re inspired, you tend to be more productive.
You are your company’s great asset. When you and the rest of the workforce are productive, the company meets its targets and improves performance. That being said, employers will want to satisfy employee needs (and wants) in cost-efficient ways. Allowing pet dogs in the work area could be one of them.
It promotes camaraderie and teamwork
Dogs are funny creatures. And like us, they act silly too. A momentary goofiness can spark laughter and eventually friendly conversation among work teams. In offices where dogs are allowed, it’s not unusual to see people gather around a dog at break time. Dog lovers won’t hesitate to share similar funny moments they’ve had with their very own pets. While discovering and sharing common interests, employees unknowingly develop a certain level of connection. Where there’s a connection among colleagues, a bond develops. When nurtured, it may grow into a great friendship.
Employers know the value of teamwork. When you belong to a team where friendship and cohesiveness thrives, it’s easier to steer it to a common goal. And the company benefits from this to a great extent. Teams will work faster and deliver even beyond what’s expected. For this reason, some companies have embraced a dog-friendly work environment.
It tempers employee burnout
Having dogs around while at work, brings out a “happy” vibe. A mere touch or tap on their cute little heads can relax you. Pausing for just a minute to touch your pet’s soft, furry coat is enough to warm your heart. And that blissful look when he’s enjoyed a belly rub will surely cast away an impending burnout.
Employers are conscious of employee burnout. That’s one of the reasons why they analyze workloads and continuously find ways to help workers cope with work-related stress. Allowing a dog in the office is a proactive way of addressing possible burnout issues.
It promotes mental health
Since pets such as dogs are known as stress relievers, allowing them to stay with you at work may help boost mental health. Mental fatigue due to tight deadlines, heavy workload, or endless meetings, happens to almost any employee, including you. And sometimes, those who have poor coping mechanisms suffer more than those who are capable of handling the demands of work and employer expectations.
Business owners are concerned about employee mental health more than ever. So, company owners who believe that dogs add to a calming, relaxing, and happy work environment do espouse a dog-friendly company policy.
Take your dog to work today if you may. Give him the honor he so deserves then let him settle on your lap for a while. After all, he’s your best ally, in work and in play!