When I worked my corporate job, I had a running joke with my colleagues that I was going to certify my dog as a therapy dog so I could bring him to work. “It’s a reasonable accommodation!” I said. Another friend pointed out that my therapy dog (a half blind lab/shepherd mix) needs his own therapy dog to compensate for his eye which also sounds like a reasonable accommodation. So the joke went on to add another one of my dogs (an American Eskimo who is known for being anxious). And eventually a third therapy dog was needed for the anxious dog (a terrier mix who surprisingly does not need a therapy dog of her own).
What a good day dream. Imagining all three of my fluffy companions while I type the day away sounds like a perfect way to spend my time. But what company would actually let you take your dogs to work? Google, Etsy and Amazon to name a few.
But, why are more and more companies trending towards allowing ‘bring your dog to work’ days?
To Attract Millennials
Millennials love their pets. And we love your pets. And her pets. And his pets. We just can’t get enough of them. With Millennials surpassing the Baby Boomers in pet ownership, it is no wonder companies are considering allowing pets in the office. How do you recruit a pet loving millennial? Let her bring her dog to work!
To Improve Productivity
I dare say I wouldn’t be writing this today if I wasn’t partially motivated by my dogs. I wanted to begin a business venture where I could have my pups by my side. Their presence helps me stay focused and grounded. And it isn’t just me! Companies who allow pets in the workplace report higher morale as well as more motivated and engaged employees.
It makes sense when you think about it. When you have a cruddy meeting, or a client is calling you off the hook, you can take a few minutes to squeeze a fluffy ear. Taking a moment to kiss your dog’s nose will release oxytocin (the love hormone) and reduce cortisol (the stress hormone). Meaning, even on your worst work days, petting your dog can lift your spirits and help you get back to work.
To Squeeze Out A Few More Minutes (Without A Cost To Morale)
Speaking of getting back to work, having your dog with you means you are more willing to stay after hours. When you don’t have to rush home to take care of your dog, you can take the time you need to wrap up a project or respond to a few more emails. What is a couple minutes when you don’t need to hurry home?
Also, fewer employees will need to run home on lunch breaks to let the dog out. Meaning, they can spend their break actually breaking. Employees will return to work recharged.
To Help Employees Find Balance
For employees with pets who have special needs, fitting a work schedule around your pets can be a challenge. My sister works from home with her two disabled dogs. Both dogs need medication every few hours. She won’t consider an office job because she needs to be able to give her dogs medication so frequently. An office that allows dogs could help someone like my sister find that balance.
For associates with senior dogs, this can also be a much needed opportunity to maximize the time remaining in the dog’s life. Any pet lover who has endured the loss of a pet knows how critical this time can be. When a pet is near death and the owner is moments away from emotional devastation, it would be easy to begin resenting a job that keeps you from your pet. But a company that let’s you cherish the time you have with your pet? That is where I want to work.
Low Cost But High Reward
What could you do to increase engagement, morale, productivity, and work-life balance for FREE? Let your employees bring their dogs to work. This policy can be free, but the impacts on the employees truly benefit your organization. There might be some additional upkeep expenses due to the increased canine traffic, but you would need to upkeep your work environment anyway.
When you consider the financial benefits of allowing dogs in the workplace, it quickly outweighs the cost to upkeep an office space. The increase in productivity alone would make allowing pets a financially intelligent decision.
For almost no cost, business owners can truly benefit from allowing dogs in the workplace. Why should your company join the likes of Google and Amazon to allow four legged friends?
- To recruit millennials
- To improve productivity by increasing morale and engagement while simultaneously reducing stress
- To have more employees willing to work longer hours
- To help employees find a balance between caring for their pet and working
- To reap the financial rewards of a more productive workforce
So what are you waiting for? It is time to open your doors to the four legged friendlies and start enjoying the perks of a pet friendly workplace today!
Are you thinking about letting dogs join your company? Let us know why in the comments!