For many years I worked from a home office and enjoyed the benefit of having my dog sleep under my feet. It was nice to break up the work day with a belly rub or the excuse to stretch my legs for a quick walk. Studies have shown that business’ that allow dogs in the workplace have happier, more productive and healthier employees.
Dogs can now be found at numerous companies from startups to well-known companies like Google. Despite all the benefits of bringing your pet to work, there are some important things to consider and boundaries that should be followed to make this change successful at the workplace:
- Dog-Proof your workspace- Hide loose electrical cords and wires that your pup could be tempted to chew, empty your trash and keep your dog distracted from others’ garbage’s too! To ensure your dog isn’t running around and distracting others too much, make a spot near you for them. This will also reduce them being territorial or anxious.
- Tucker you pooch out- I’ve always said, “a tired dog is a good dog”. Make sure you exercise your dog before you bring them to the office. You want to exhaust that pent-up morning energy before arriving at work.
- Come prepared- Bring your dog’s food, bowl, leash, favorite chew toys and treats to keep him or her occupied during the workday.
- Break up the workday- Incorporate a few ten-minute breaks into your day to give your dog and yourself some fresh air and exercise, invite co-workers too.
- Remember, it’s your dog- Not everyone loves dogs, some are allergic to dogs, and some are just too busy. That’s ok too, don’t expect anyone to pet your dog, make it a fun time for everyone included. Make sure you ask people in the office before bringing in your dog for the very first time to avoid possible annoyance and/or allergic reactions.
Businesses may not realize the positive effects of having pets in the workplace. Next year, June 24, 2016 is Take Your Dog to Work Day. Join the over 300 companies Nationwide and plan ahead! It will better your workplace faster than you can say “treat?!”.