Are you thinking of bringing your dog to the workplace? Bringing pets along to work can make the day more enjoyable and productive for some people. For others, the four-legged friends create a distraction that interferes with their ability to get work done. Before you establish your office as pet-friendly, consider the pros and cons of allowing pets in the workplace.
Pros of Pets in the Workplace
Having pets in the office can make you and your employees feel comfortable and more relaxed. While this might make workers more productive, a pet-friendly workplace offers other benefits as well.
According to a Virginia Commonwealth University study, employees who bring their dogs to work experience a significant reduction in stress levels. Furry friends encourage movement, exercise, and playfulness, which can help lighten the mood in challenging workplaces. Dogs are also intuitive and affectionate. Caring for the pets can help you feel needed and loved. Additionally, a pup that finds his way into your office can simply add some happiness to a difficult or monotonous day.
Improve Morale and Productivity
Wagging tails can help you increase the contentment factor in the office, which sets the stage for high morale and productivity. Cheerful employees are typically more efficient and tend to work more. Positive emotions are invigorating, and your workers tend to be more creative when they feel happy. That dogs are mans’ best friend is no lie — pets serve as a great tool for social interaction and tend to promote communication and teamwork among your workers.
Significant Financial Benefit
As a small business owner, you want to keep both your personal and business expenses low. With that in mind, hiring doggie walking services or taking your dog to a daycare every day can be quite costly. Allowing dogs at the workplace may help eliminate the additional costs.
Cons of Pets in the Workplace
Allowing pets at work may cause a myriad of interpersonal and legal issues. This brings up several reasons that make the case for leaving your dog at home or at the doggie daycare.
Not Everyone Loves Dogs
If you’re a dog enthusiast, it may be difficult to understand that, for some, the furry friends are more of a nuisance than a benefit. For example, your dog may cause distractions by barking, whimpering, playing with squeaky toys, or wandering in and out of offices. Additionally, your employees or colleagues may be fearful of dogs, possibly due to bad experiences with the animals in the past. Establishing pet-free zones can help to contain the canines and ease the stress of those don’t love dogs.
Dog-friendly workplaces can cause medical problems for allergic employees. Allergens reside in the pet’s dander and can transmit through your dog’s saliva, skin, or hair. Dander can also travel through the air, predisposing your employees to allergies, even if they maintain a distance from the pooch.
Guidelines for Work Pets
If you want to allow pets in your small business, consider creating a pet committee to establish policies and procedures. You might also decide that allowing dogs in the office full-time might be a bit much, giving you options for part-time visits. When you do this, it helps if you ensure the committee consists of employees who do and don’t love dogs. A versatile group can set requirements for obedience and establish pet-friendly zones in your offices. Also, ask the committee to consult with an attorney regarding any legal aspects of having a pet-friendly office, such as what to do if a pet attacks or bites your employees.
It also works best if you check with all your employees to see if they’re allergic before allowing dogs in the office. A compromise may be to designate certain days as pet-friendly, such as the first Friday of the month. You can even allow allergic employees or those don’t like dogs to work at home on those days, and do a thorough cleaning before the office opens again for business.
Pets in the workplace can provide key benefits, but sometimes the negatives outweigh the positives. Before you make a decision, consider checking with all your workers to keep your office or facility pleasant for everyone. Do you need an app that organizes your work, streamlines your financial processes, and manages your employees? If so, the QuickBooks Self-Employed app helps freelancers, contractors, and sole proprietors track and manage their business on the go. Download the app now.