As an avid dog lover and self-titled “dog mum”, I have always been fascinated by the idea of “Take Your Dog to Work Day”. The concept was established by Pet Sitters International in 1999 and has developed into an experience that promotes the joy of pets in the workplace and to raise money for local shelters.
There are many benefits and there are many reservations when it comes to having dogs in the workplace. It is a topic that has been getting more and more attention, so what are the pros and cons of having your fur baby in the office?
Reduce stress and assists with mental breaks:
Employers and employees are discovering that dogs in the workplace assist in reducing stress levels and creating a more comfortable work environment. As we all know, when the pressure is on at work, you sometimes need a mental break. The amazing benefits of having a quick mental break (i.e. taking the dog for a quick walk around the block can mean coming back into the office refreshed and ready to tackle the situation head-on), boosting morale in the office, increasing productivity due to less stress and decreased absenteeism.
Safety and health of employees:
Yes, there are benefits to dog owners when they work in a dog-friendly workplace, but workers would have to be aware of their co-workers who are genuinely scared of dogs or allergic to them. This could create the opposite effect than mentioned above, by disturbing the workday and overall wellbeing. The other factor to consider would be the safety of employees and the animal itself. A dog that may be docile but not properly trained may cause harm to themselves or others if an unforeseen situation occurs. This is where the implementation of a pet policy should be in place before making the workplace pet friendly.
This year, Take Your Dog to Work Day, happens on Friday 26 June so you have a bit of time up your sleeve to decide if your team will get on board, and what needs to be put in place to make this fun day a reality in your workplace. And if that goes well, why limit having dogs in the office to just one day a year?
In any case, if you were to ask me, ‘Hey Marissa, did you want to bring your dog into work tomorrow?’, I would do the biggest song and dance about it! The thought of popping my 6-month-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier (ie. Best Pupper in the World) in the car and bringing her with me into the office puts a BIG smile on my face. For now though, I’ll settle for the many photos on my desk!