Okay, so bringing a horse to the office might be a step too far, but how do you feel about policies allowing staff to bring in their pets?
As we highlighted in our A-Z of office culture, the number of companies implementing pro-pet policies is growing. According to research by Reed.co.uk, around 8% of employees in the UK are allowed to take their dogs to work and this is sure to rise.
If you’re undecided on whether to allow your staff the op-paw-tunity to bring their four legged friends into the office, we’ve compiled a list of pros and cons:
Having dogs in the office has been shown to have lots of benefits to both employees and the company.
Reduced stress levels
There’s been a whole pack of studies that have shown having dogs present lowers blood pressure and helps people cope better in stressful situations.
If you’re having a ‘ruff’ day, having a dog to stroke is particularly beneficial as it elevates the production of happy hormones, serotonin and dopamine.
Boosts creativity and productivity
While the introduction of a new dog in the office might cause some distraction to begin with, it can actually help your workforce focus in the long run.
Taking short breaks throughout the day makes workers more productive and creative, and it’s been well documented in offices with dogs that having the canine companions encourages staff to take breaks.
Enhances the office atmosphere
According to figures from the Kennel Club, since allowing staff to bring dogs into the office, 90% of businesses had seen a positive change in the working environment, 56% said work relations had improved and 67% claimed staff morale had improved.
Improves your company image
Let’s be honest, if you were job hunting and found out a company allowed pets in the office, you’d definitely be tempted to send in your CV.
A pro-pup policy can also help the business to be seen as progressive and forward thinking.
It can be easy to be swept up into the excitement of having furry friends in the office, but allowing staff to bring their pets into the office isn’t always a walk in the park.
Humans should come first
While you might not be able to stop yourself from petting every four-legged companion you meet, not everyone will feel the same way. Employees or clients could have serious allergies, while some people could have pet phobias.
Barking, needing toilet breaks, running around – these are all ways in which dogs can distract owners and their fellow co-workers. If having a dog in the office is negatively impacting productivity, you might want to rethink the policy.
Chew much time on their hands
One of the main reasons pet owners jump at the chance to bring their pet into work with them is that they’ll be safe in the knowledge that their pet isn’t destroying their house and all their valuables out of boredom.
But even the best-behaved dog could end up getting bored in the office, and this could lead to damaged office equipment, furniture and carpets.
If you’ve got the space for it and it complements your company culture, we think you’d be barking mad (that’s the last of the puns – promise!) if you didn’t trial pets in the office. Just be sure to lay down some ground rules before you open the doors to canine colleagues.