With more than 80 percent of dog owners claiming their pet provides companionship, love, company and affection, why wouldn’t you want to bring those benefits to your workplace? Surprisingly, only 8 percent of offices currently allow pets, finds the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).
Benefits of dog-friendly workplaces
You might decide to become one of them when you realize how worker-friendly a pet-friendly office is. You will reap:
Easier employee recruitment: Of American dog owners, nearly 40 percent are millennials, finds the APPA survey, which coincidentally is a demographic that business owners are increasingly looking to attract and retain. In fact, 79 percent of HR managers mention pet-friendly policies during employee recruitment, and 65 percent of job seekers inquire, according to the Banfield survey.
Better work/life balance: We worry about our dogs almost as much as our kids, and many employees even fret about leaving their dog home alone and/or spend money on doggy day care or hiring someone to walk or check on their dog. By allowing your employees to bring their dog to work, you remove one more stress about their household juggle—and give them one less reason to rush out of the office.
Improved employee interaction: One of the study’s researchers, Virginia Commonwealth University business professor Randolph Barker, noticed a positive impact on communication and cooperation during his research. “People without dogs would go by and see people with dogs and ask if they could take them for walks. And we also noticed people were much more connective. We call the dogs the ‘communicative energizer,’ ” he said in an interview with the Humane Society’s "All Animals" magazine.
Healthier employees: Believe it or not, your employees with pets might be saving you money on healthcare, finds a study conducted by George Mason University for the Human Animal Bond Research Institute. Their research found that pet ownership was responsible for an estimated $11.7 billion savings in U.S. healthcare costs. The savings came primarily from fewer visit to the doctor (read: less absenteeism from work!) and a decrease in obesity-related spending. (Dogs have to be walked, after all.)
Why Not Give It a Try?
Why not welcome dogs on June 22 as a trial and see how it goes? The Banfield survey found that only 25 percent of HR directors at pet-friendly companies said the policy was difficult to implement.
Some best practices to get you started include:
Checking for allergies among other workers
Verifying vaccination records
Ensuring the dog is people-friendly
And of course, stocking up on cleaning supplies...just in case!
About the Author
Cathie Ericson is a freelance writer covering business and consumer topics. She creates branded content for Fortune 500 companies, and her work has appeared in LearnVest, Costco Magazine, Forbes, TheGlassHammer.com and IDEA Fitness. Follow her @cathieericson.
All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. It is provided “as is” and neither the author nor Office Depot, Inc. warrant the accuracy of the information provided, nor do they assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.
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