The HR Benefits of Having Office Dogs

Author: Robyn Parets | October 5, 2016

Attracting and retaining talented employees for your small business is no easy feat, especially when you may be competing with larger companies that can afford to offer perks like free lunches, happy hours, and other events. Allowing your employees to bring dogs to work, however, may be a great way to keep everyone happy and help them save money on their doggie daycare bills. A dog-friendly office, in turn, won’t cost you much, and you’ll come across as a supportive and flexible boss.

Indeed, if bringing pets into your office building is possible, allowing dogs will benefit you and your employees in many other ways as well.

3 Big HR Benefits to Joining the Dog-Friendly Movement

  1. Your employees will be more productive

    Your team likely spends many hours working at desks and sitting. Taking frequent short breaks to walk around typically improves productivity, and a dog is a great reminder to get up and move around, bringing employees back to their desks refreshed and thus leading to higher productivity. There are other HR benefits too: Allowing your employees to interact with pets during the day leads to a more vibrant and creative workplace environment, according to American Express.

  2. Dogs are a great stress reliever

    According to research conducted by Virginia Commonwealth University, dogs in the workplace help reduce stress for pet owners. A dog-friendly office also makes coming to work more fulfilling for other employees. In fact, the study says having dogs at work can serve as a low-cost type of wellness service while enhancing employee job satisfaction.

  3. Your employees will bond better and collaborate more effectively

    Having a dog around stimulates conversation and interaction among your team: HR benefits that benefit you, the employer, as well. Fido can act as an icebreaker as well. When employees get to know each other better, this can lead to more collaborative meetings. Taking this one step further, employees will often discuss work while taking a dog for a walk outside. Although this means exiting the office building, a short walk with a dog not only encourages collaboration, but the exercise and fresh air also doubles as a healthy way to relieve job pressure.

Things You Should Consider Before Letting In the Dogs

  1. Protect Yourself

    It’s key to consider possible liability issues when moving toward a dog-friendly workplace. For example, does your insurance policy cover injuries caused by a pet in the office? Although in many states the actual owner would be responsible, you might also be held liable, so this is worth checking into. Likewise, it’s important to find out if your insurance policy covers any property damage that may be caused by a pet, such as chewed chair legs or scratched-up floors.Along those lines, to further help protect you and your business from injuries and damage caused by the office dogs, you may want to ask your employees to sign a waiver to assume responsibility for their animals.

  2. Allergies and Those Who Don’t Like Dogs

    Not everyone is a dog lover, and you certainly don’t want to ostracize employees who prefer not to be around dogs. You may also have employees with dog allergies. For these reasons, you may want to carve out a “no dog zone.”

  3. The Final Scoop

    Speaking of specific zones, if you’re thinking seriously about letting dogs come to work, you’ll want to keep the space around your office building clean. To do this, make sure there’s an area where dogs can do their business—and likewise, somewhere nearby to dispose of it.

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