Should You Allow Dogs at Work?

September 12, 2018 | 822 views

Should You Allow Dogs at Work?

Should You Allow Dogs at Work?

Were you one of the many anxious shoppers on Amazon Prime Day who logged on early? If so, you were probably met with disappointment when the site crashed, but equally delighted when you saw a picture of one of Amazon’s dogs. Amazon is proud of its company culture where every day is bring-your-dog-to-work-day. From the day Amazon came into existence, a husband and wife team would bring Rufus, a Welsh Corgi, to the office to work. That sparked more employees to bring their dogs, and so began their tradition.

 

Can you follow suit? Should your business allow pets to join employees in the office? If you’re a dog lover itching for a reason to bring your dog to work, it might be worth considering. There are many benefits to having dogs at work.

 

A Reduction in Stress

Why does Amazon have such a staunch dog-loving policy? Because, quite simply, it keeps employees happy.

 

“Having dogs in our workplace is an amazing treat — they make employees smile,” says Lara Hirschfield, Amazon’s “Woof Pack” Manager.

 

Studies confirm this notion that having dogs around make people happy. A 2012 study by the Virginia Commonwealth University’s Center for Human-Animal Interaction found that people who brought their dogs to work were less stressed than those who did not have a pet.

 

Increased Collaboration and Retention

Another company that has a bring-your-dog-to-work policy is Zuke’s, a pet treat company in Durango, Colorado. Every day there are between 10 and 20 dogs on its campus. The Director of Innovation, Chris Meiering, cited one obvious benefit that he’s seen by implementing this policy as collaboration away from the traditional office environment.

 

“Some offices have water cooler conversations; we have dog playtime conversations. Their presence really builds camaraderie in the office,” he says.

 

Employees can collaborate while giving their dogs exercise in the designated play area. This type of collaboration doesn’t just change up the setting in which team members communicate. It also encourages employees to develop a deeper relationship. This ability to form a closer-knit team has led to increased retention rates over the years for this particular company.

 

Decreased Sick Days

In addition to reducing stress, dogs have also been shown to have an impact on overall health. A 2017 study of 3.4 million people in Sweden found that having a dog lowered the risk of cardiovascular disease. And another study found that being exposed to animal bacteria could trigger bacteria in our guts and actually change how our bodies metabolize the neurotransmitters that impact our moods and mental functions. And yet another study found that pets boost immune systems. With all of this improvement to health, it’s only natural to assume that having pets could reduce sick leave, which could put less strain on your scheduling process.

 

Putting Dogs On Your Schedule

Yes, putting dogs on your office schedule and ingraining this policy into your company culture can pay off in dividends, when done correctly. Make sure to plan introductions of new dogs at the office to avoid any scuffles. And always be mindful of people who might not have the same love of pets as others. If you’re proactive and set boundaries to this policy, it can bring you higher retention levels, happier employees, and more productivity. Are you on board?

 

 

Author Profile Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase employee scheduling software, and other business software solutions. In the past, Jon has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Atlas Business Solutions was named as one of Software Magazine’s Top 500 Software Companies in 2004 through 2007, and 2010, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017.

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