Do Dogs in the Office Make us More Productive?

img_3876-1Working in an office can become very routine. The same office. The same desk. The same faces. Well… what if there were new faces? New, furry, cute faces.

Take Your Dog To Work Day (TYDTWD) is a great way to “shake up” a routine day. It’s held each year on the Friday following Father’s day, which makes today, June 24th, the 18th annual TYDTWD.

Some offices love the idea of dogs in the office so much that they allow it on a daily basis. Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) conducted a survey in 2015 that found 8 percent of U.S. employers allow dogs in the work place. This statistic has gone up 3 percent since their 2008 survey.
Whether it’s their fluffiness, companionship, or sloppy kisses, there is no doubt that dogs can bring happiness to the office. They can help reduce stress, increase job satisfaction, improve camaraderie, and even encourage longer work hours. Happy workers make for a happy work environment.

Bringing dogs to work can even attract a younger workforce. Millennials are projected to make up almost half of the workforce by 2020, according to Stifel Equity Research. In addition, they will soon be the largest pet-owning cohort, surpassing baby-boomers. Like most pet-owners, these 19-to-35-year-olds view their animals as not only their best friend, but family as well.

Amazon, Etsy, Google, Bissell, Clif Bar and Petco are just a few examples of companies today that embrace this idea. CNBC spoke to the manager of culture and engagement at Etsy, Sarah Starpoli, who said:

“Millennials make up a lot of our workforce. As the population has increased in our offices, the dogs have grown with us. People want it. People know about it when they come in and are hired.”

TYDTWD_2In order for animals, employees and visitors to the workplace to remain safe and happy, a policy should be formed with some guidelines. Here are some suggestions to consider when creating and implementing a policy:

[slideshare id=63392957&doc=slidesharebyptwd-160623205632]

These suggestions mostly pertain to allowing employees’ personal pets in the office. Some employers may be hesitant to the idea of having multiple creatures in the office, or it may not make sense with the type of work happening in the work environment. However, that isn’t the only option to having animals in the workplace. Benefits can still be seen by just getting a company fish for everyone to enjoy. Nemo (or Dory!) is an easy way to brighten the office after years of the same routines.

It may be too late to join the official Take Your Dog To Work Day happening today, but it could start a conversation at your office to determine if it could be right for you. Hopefully, with the suggestions for a policy above, you’ll be reaping the rewards of having a furry faced co-worker soon.

Other sources:

http://www.wsj.com/video/pets-in-the-workplace-a-petiquette-primer/4DE7F97F-4D41-44B1-8CE2-89587F7F7287.html

http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-office-pet-is-a-pig-no-really-1435708431

http://www.forbes.com/sites/joshbersin/2012/06/13/new-research-unlocks-the-secret-of-employee-recognition/#17a4ffc2d949