Is a Pet Friendly Office Right for Your Business?
By Samantha Russell
Did you know that 49% of Americans said they would switch jobs to be able to bring their dog to work?
Amazon is one of the biggest pioneers in this field. Walk into their Seattle headquarters and you are greeted with a bowl of doggy treats at the front desk. Look around and you will see pups galavanting in and out of the building with their owners or going on their daily lunch break walks. You can even find a detailed description of each dog (their favorite toys, age, and personality traits) on Amazon’s “Meet the dogs of Amazon” page.
The popularity of this trend seems to be growing exponentially and people are loving it. Several American companies have adopted this pet friendly environment year-round. In 2016, 7% of companies in America allowed pets in the workplace (up from 4% in 2014). For the companies that aren’t quite ready to commit to a full-time pet policy, “Take Your Dog to Work Day” is another popular option; and it’s not just the novelty. According to a 2016 study by Banfield Pet Hospital, 82% of employees said that being able to bring their dogs to work evoked a greater sense of loyalty to their employers.
Similar studies have also proven a significant boost in morale and productivity within the workplace (see 2012 Virginia Commonwealth study). However, many people suffer from mild to severe pet allergies that may prohibit them from working in their desired environment. Not to mention the added responsibility and liability issues. Where do companies draw the line?
We know that’s a lot to consider! SO, how do you gauge whether or not a pet-friendly office is right for your business? Here are some thoughts:
Survey your staff to learn if they’d be interested in this perk.
An anonymous, online survey can be helpful in determining the popularity of a dog-friendly office. As we mentioned earlier, it’s important to be sensitive towards those with dog related allergies or fears. Afterall, the health and safety of your employees is your top priority!
If you find your office is leaning towards allowing dogs in the workplace, start with a “Take Your Dog to Work Day” and identify and empower a dog loving employee to take the lead on organizing of the day.
Cover your bases.
Check with your insurance carrier to ensure there aren’t any provisions in your policy that would hold you liable. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!
While it may not be right for all office cultures, It seems as if businesses across America should definitely consider all of the benefits associated with a pet-friendly office: more loyalty, better morale and higher productivity. It will be interesting to see how this all pans out… fur everybody!
What're your thoughts on dogs in the office? Send us a message!
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