Dogs in the Workplace.
Allowing dogs into the workplace is a concept which is growing in popularity here in the UK. At Holidays4Dogs we have always worked in the office with our four-legged companions for company – and we love having them around! If you are considering allowing dogs into your work-space, or you want to persuade your boss to allow dogs at work – Read our Holidays4Dogs article for further information on how to go about it.
Research has proven, having pets in the workplace offers many benefits to employees, including better working relationships with colleagues and increased productivity. In addition, workplace stress levels are often reduced, as is absenteeism.
In 2013, the BBC politics show This Week allowed presenter Andrew Neil’s dog, Miss Molly to wander around the studio – so wander she did, throughout the whole programme. She even sat down on the settee during an interview with guest, Terry Wogan.
Don’t forget all our lovely Holidays4Dogs carers have dogs in the workplace – i.e. their own homes! Our carers welcome lots of lovely dogs into their homes while owners are on holiday. This has to be the perfect way to combine work, with the wonderful company of dogs.
If you would like to find out more how to become a carer, click here.
‘Bring your dog to work day’
Taking your dog to work is much less of a problem if you are self employed, or work from home. Being able to combine dog owning with working full time, is great news for pooches.
Earlier this year, two pet industry businesses launched the, ‘Bring Your Dog to Work Day‘ – a campaign to raise money for animal welfare organisations, both here and abroad. The event usually occurs in the month of June. The Blue Cross also run a similar campaign.
Although the idea of dogs in the work place is slower to catch on officially in the UK, there are still a significant amount of companies that the benefits of pets in the workplace.
However, it is only small animal related firms and small private businesses that welcome work place pets. In the United States, one in five employers are pet friendly. In Taiwan, nearly half of all employers allow pets into work.
Of course, not every place of work is suitable for accommodating dogs. This fact was woefully exemplified by office dog Alan, at Tatler magazine premises in London Very sadly, he came to an unfortunate end, in an incident with revolving doors at the offices.
Things to consider for a pets in the workplace scheme –
The UK Kennel Club certainly encourages dog friendly places of employment. However, they point out that dogs should be well socialised and trained. In addition, many places of work will be unsuitable from a health and safety perspective. For instance, there may be no outside space where dogs can relieve themselves. Some dogs may be bored sitting in an office all day, while others may find the experience enriching. As well as this, other work colleagues, or customers to the office may not appreciate the presence of dogs.
If you are really keen to be able to take your dog work you may need to cover every angle in order to persuade your boss to agree. However, you may be pleasantly surprised by the response. Here are a few tips to assist you if are keen to start a dogs in the workplace programme.
Point out the benefits to the company –
Research has shown that, pets in the workplace, can boost morale and productivity. Additionally, they can help engage potential customers and make clients feel relaxed. By being pet friendly, work places can create a uniqueness that softens a more corporate approach. Dogs don’t need to be in the office permanently – perhaps a compromise might be certain days of the week.
Gauge the opinions of your colleagues –
Find out whether work colleagues are interested in a pets at work scheme. In addition, establish how many people might be opposed to such an idea and, specifically, why. Any concerns your co-workers have about pets in the workplace, will need to be addressed and agreeable solutions put in place, where possible.
Address health and safety matters –
Suggest a committee is established which can agree on rules and etiquette of dogs in the office. Carry out a risk assessment and, if this involves a company of more than five people, this must be in writing. Insurance policies such as third party damage, or injury, are a sensible precaution. Dogs should also be healthy, well socialised and obedient.
Survey the environment to decide whether it is practical to accommodate dogs –
Are there safe outside spaces for dog walking during breaks? Is there space to place bins for waste disposal? Identify dog free zones such as toilets, kitchens, or staff rooms.
Set up a trial run.
One day will not be long enough for dogs and their owners to establish a routine in the office. Perhaps your employer may agree to a week, or more, trial run. This will help with any future decision to allow office dogs on a regular basis. Good behaviour is essential. Your dog should be able to;
- Sit on command.
- Lie down (settle) on command.
- Come when called straight away.
- Leave it.
- Walk nicely on a loose lead.
There are clearly many benefits for both humans and dogs having the benefit of sharing the workplace. Not least because it makes for a much more enjoyable environment for employees, as well as dogs being able to spend more time with their owners. As a result, our companion pooches will have happier and more contented lives – a canine work-life balance if you will.