What if you could bring an aspect of your dream life to the office every day? What if you could bring your dog to work, instead of saying good-bye at your doorstep?
Bring Your Dog to Work Day may not be a nationally recognized holiday (yet). But at Blue Summit Supplies, we’ve made every day Bring Your Dog to Work Day! Our CEO Owen Franklin brings his French bulldog Larry into work almost every day, and we’ve seen firsthand the benefits of having an office dog.
Having an office dog can transform your office experience from a tedious, daily grind to a day with a special twist.
Although office culture is shifting away from the traditional office environment, office pets are still not commonly seen in most offices. However, we’ve experienced the benefits of having an office dog and have found that an office dog is an office essential.
Why Have an Office Dog?
The most productive and happy work environments are those that stimulate relaxation and flexibility. Employees in this kind of environment will not only be able to accomplish more work, but the quality of their work will be better. Happy employees work harder, meaning more work gets done and gets done well. This is the office environment every office ought to strive for, and an office dog is one of the best ways to achieving a productive work atmosphere.
Reduces Workplace Stress
The best office pets decrease stress. When deadlines are hot, stress levels climb high. When they get too high, it becomes difficult to produce quality material. Taking a break to engage with your pet has shown to decrease stress levels. Having an office dog around allows you to calm your stress levels right there in the office.
The Best Office Pets
If you just can’t seem to convince your boss to let you bring in your dog, or you feel like a dog might just be too much work for you at the office, there are a number of other animals that make the best office pets.
These animals make good office pest since they are all low maintenance and are usually kept in a confined area. You don’t have to worry about pet proofing your office, since these animals live in a cage or tank (most of the time, at least). Cats are free-roaming but they don’t require quite as much attention as dogs.
Increases Work Performance
While you might assume your hour-long lunch is the best way you can take a break from work, short breaks throughout the dayare the ones that really impact your productivity for the better. A little office pup can give you the opportunity you need to take those small breaks and increase your work performance.Take the dog for a short walk. Give the office pet a belly rub. These types of breaks will change your work flow for the better.
Creates a Stronger Workplace Community
A good office pet provides the perfect avenue for team cohesion. Those offices that choose to have a dog in their midst set up an office culture that is more receptive toconstructive criticisms, teamwork, team trustand a better community. This trust results in positively handling conflict resolution and listening to the needs of your coworkers.
An office dog also instigates more communication between coworkers, creating a more social and enjoyable office.
Increases Public Engagement
Most people associate pups with personal or home life; dogs aren’t usually thought of as a part of the workplace. But, by incorporating an office dog into your company culture, you’re adding a new, warm dimension to your organization. You are no longer a brand or a business; you are real people. The public doesn’t want to deal with computers; they want to feel like they can talk to actual people. An office dog lets people know your company is made up of individuals rather than automated emails.
How to Convince Your Boss to Get an Office Dog
If you have a furry friend you’re tired of leaving at home every day, talk to your boss about bringing your pup to work and having your very own office dog. Or, if you’re looking to adopt an office dog, consider these steps.
- Do some research. Your boss will probably want facts and data about what a canine coworker can add to the office.
- Check with your coworkers and make sure they don’t have allergies or other issues with dogs before you bring up the idea to your boss.
- Look into different breeds. Research the best types of breeds for the office, or the kind of breed you are specifically interested in. If you want to bring in your own dog, research that breed and see if it makes for a good, calm office companion.
- Make sure the dog has been properly socialized. If you are adopting a dog or you decide to bring your own dog, make sure he or she is comfortable with people. Be sure they don’t get overly excited or timid around too many people. Be honest with yourself: if your dog has aggressive tendencies or barks a lot, they might not be a good fit for office life.
- Present the idea to your boss. Organize your material and make sure you can support your claims and ideas. Be willing to compromise. Suggest a trial run or offer scheduled dog days.
- If your boss says yes, then be sure to create an office dog policy. A company dog policy is important because it clearly defines the expectations and limitations of having a dog in the office. If rules and expectations are already in place before you bring in your dog, then you don’t need to worry about your dog causing problems.
Company Dog Policies
Many large companies have made it a priority to implement an office dog policy. Here are some companies who already have office dog policies in place.
Amazon Dog Policy – Amazon is a pet-friendly environmentwhich allows employees to make every day Bring Your Dog to Work day. Rather than having one dog considered the office dog, each employee may bring their own personal canine friend to the office.
“Having dogs in our workplace is an amazing treat. They make employees smile, and we’re proud this is such a uniquely Amazonian tradition. It’s truly ingrained in our company culture,” explains Lara Hirschfield via Amazon Day One blog
Google Dog Policy – Google’s company dog policy specifically addresses their preference for dogs over cats. They encourage their employees to bring their dogs to work, as long as they take individual responsibility for them. Google understands the benefits that dogs have on their employees and strives to create a healthy, dog-positive environment for their company.
Ticketmaster Dog Policy – Dedicated to the well-being of their employees, Ticketmaster provides pet insurance. They’re aware of the impact pets have on their owners, and provide them peace of mind through pet insurance.
Starbucks Dog Policy – Since Starbucks is a food service business, they can’t allow dogs inside their stores. However, pets are welcome on their patio. They make the experience a positive one for pets and owners by offering puppuccinos, cups filled with whipped cream made just for dogs.
Lowes Dog Policy – While there is no set company dog policy at Lowe’s, every individual store has their own policy. The decision is left up to the discretion of the manager. This is the case with many large chain stores, so each store may appeal to the culture of the area.
Check out this video on the dog policy at Procore, a Southern California software company, that allows employees to bring their dogs to work every day!
How to Make your Office Dog Friendly
It’s an exciting day when you finally get to carry your dog through the office doors! However, you’ll need to do a couple things before you take the dog to work.
Puppy proofing the office is dependent on the set up of your office. You might work in a cubicle; you might have an open style office; maybe you have a private office. Wherever you work, keep some of these tips in mind when preparing your office for your four-legged friend.
- Put away all chewable items. Keep pens and highlighters out of reach. Try to tuck away any exposed wires. The last thing you want to do is spend time trying to clean an ink stained rug, or helping IT rewire electronics.
- Take care to keep your lunch and snacks somewhere other than the edge of your desk. If you keep your snacks in one of your desk drawers, keep that drawer shut. Keep your snacks safe and your office dog healthy.
- Get rid of any small trash cans. Short trash cans are easily accessible to their curious noses; switch to taller trash cans that will keep your dog from messing with anything inside.
- Make sure you bring the dog essentials: chew toys, bed, food, bowls for food and water, and a leash.
- Lastly, make sure your dog is freshly groomed and smelling nice. No one in the office will thank you if your dog makes the whole office reek, or if he leaves a trail of hair down the hallway.
Incorporating office dogs into the workplace is becoming a much more common trend. Companies are finding more and more evidence that good office pets contribute to employee satisfaction, team cohesion, and productivity. While producing quality work is important for a business, the mental wellness and health of employees is paramount. Having an office dog will contribute to both, which will strengthen your company culture and public communication.
As much as we love dogs, we are aware that having a dog isn’t just happy cuddles. There are some cons to office dogs too.
- It is entirely possible that your pup could cause some disruptions. If your dog is not well trained, you might spend more time keeping your dog out of trouble than you do working.
- Some people in your office may just not like dogs. (I know. It’s hard to believe) In this situation, having an office dog could cause office tension and conflict, which is bad for everyone involved.
- No matter what kind of dog you get, you’ll have to deal with hair. If your dog is allowed all over the office, then you’ll have to make sure he or she isn’t leaving a trail of hair behind. This is a hygiene issue as much as an aggravation issue!
So, there are some aspects to having an office dog that might be less than ideal. The question is, do the pros outweigh the cons? At Blue Summit Supplies, we say yes, since we can’t imagine an office without Larry. What do you think?
If you have any questions about our experience with an office pet, feel free to contact us! We’d love to share all the joys, big and small, Larry brings to our office on a daily basis.
If you have any questions or comments about office organization, office supplies, or office culture, reach out to us on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. And as always, for any questions, concerns, or just to say hello, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Larry would love to hear from you!
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