Over 8% of American companies have dog-friendly offices.
This trend, that started with powerhouse companies like Amazon, Google and Nestle, is now being adopted by other businesses across the nation.
Some wonder whether this is just an attempt at looking “cool” or if it’s actually beneficial to the workplace environment.
While every company is different, many employees would say yes, it is beneficial.
In fact, dog-friendly policies can be one of the main workplace benefits to attract top talent, especially millennials.
Lots of big and small organizations are advocates of the productivity-boosting power of pets in the workplace. Dogs Monthly reported that over 40% of working millennials believe that having a dog in the office would increase morale and relieve stress.
Millennials would even choose to have dogs in the office over other benefits. Nearly 30% of employees reported that they would be willing to give up office perks, such as yoga or a gym membership, in exchange for a dog-friendly workplace.
The truth is, dog-friendly offices lead to a whole range of benefits.
Dogs play a very important role in the modern workplace for a number of reasons.
Some of these include higher employee retention rates and engagement, increased performance and productivity, and even heightened inspiration. They also help workers to stay healthy and active during the day. Dogs encourage good habits such as taking breaks or simply getting up from your desk for a few minutes.
Studies have shown that employees who take short, frequent, breaks throughout the day are much more productive than those who don’t. In a dog-friendly office, workers have an excuse to take mental breaks that they usually wouldn’t if their furry friend wasn’t with them.
These four-legged friends are natural conversation starters and can even provide the opportunity for collaboration across departments! Employees are more inclined to approach each other when there is a furry coworker nearby to break the ice. You might strike up a conversation about the dog and discover an opportunity for cooperation that otherwise wouldn’t have existed.
Dogs also provide social support for employees, giving coworkers the opportunity to interact in a positive setting. Did you know that petting a dog has been proven to reduce stress? Whether or not it’s your pup, the simple act of petting these cute creatures reduces stress and blood pressure and puts you in “relax mode”. All of the benefits of having a dog at home translate to the office!
What they really know how to do? Encourage you to be exactly what you are, human
Besides the additional perks of promoting bonding and laughter among employees, dogs encourage us humans to get away from our screens. This is perhaps the most important reason to welcome dogs into the workplace! In a world dominated by screens and tech gadgets, dogs don’t come with batteries or chargers. They’re not on Instagram, nor have they heard of artificial intelligence or VR technology.
Another huge benefit of having a dog-friendly office that many companies overlook is time flexibility. Lots of pet parents find themselves rushing out of the office at exactly 5:00 PM so that they can get home and let their dog out. Being able to bring their dog to work with them gives employees the opportunity to extend their hours and finish up their projects without feeling stressed or pressured by the clock. By allowing dogs to come to work, your employees will not only be happier, but more productive as well!
So what are the downsides?
It’s important to keep in mind that not all dogs are perfect for these types of environments, and not all employees are “dog people”.
Other issues that can ensue are the occasional accident on the floor or tussle with another dog. Additionally, barking or whining can interrupt calls or meetings with clients. However, these situations can be managed with the help of mindful employees and well-trained pups.
While the positives do outweigh the negatives, companies should consider implementing a few general rules and policies before allowing dogs in the office.
But from our experience here at Covideo, we can confidently say that a dog-friendly office leads to plenty of benefits! From higher employee engagement and friendly atmosphere to increased inspiration and decreased stress, we couldn’t imagine our office without our furry friends.