Recent office trends have included slides, hammocks, ping pong tables and even beds for employees to recharge with a nap. However, is having a dog in the office taking it too far? Will this benefit employees’ productivity or be a distraction? Read more about companies with office dogs and the effects of incorporating this furry friend into the workplace:
Increases Employee Engagement
Employees at Nestle’s offices in Gatwick reported that having dogs in the office has improved the atmosphere by making it warmer and more sociable. The presence of dogs encourages employees to engage with co-workers from different departments they may never usually speak with unless it is over email. This has resulted in professional relationships being formed with people from all areas of the business and increasing trust amongst co-workers resulting in better collaboration throughout the organisation.
Work related stress accounts for 35% of ill health and 43% of days lost at work in 2014/2015. A study in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management found that having access to dogs produces a calming influence, boosts morale and reduces stress levels. Interacting with pets increases the release of the hormone oxytocin which reduces stress and decreases the production of the hormone cortisol which causes stress.
A study by the American Pet Products Manufacturers found that 46 million Americans believed that having pets in the workplace creates a more productive work environment. http://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/pets-and-productivity-does-having-an-animal-in-the-office-make-you-a-better-worker.html With dogs decreasing stress levels and boosting morale, it could be argued that happier employees equates to more productive employees. Some employees have also reported they would put in longer hours in the office if their furry-friend could accompany them to work since they wouldn’t need to rush home to attend to them. https://www.allbusiness.com/let-your-office-go-to-the-dogs-increase-your-productivity-14690031-1.html
However, disruptive, badly behaved dogs could be counterproductive by causing distractions and disruption in the workplace. Companies such as Nestle ensure dogs go through a “pawthorisation” process, evaluating the dogs habits and behaviour before they receive their “passpawt” to the office. This ensures only well trained dogs are welcome into the workplace.
Attracts Top Talent
Small businesses find it hard to attract talent when competing with larger organisations with a bigger budget and a better benefits packages. Making the office “dog friendly” could be a way to entice new employees. This could be particularly attractive to millennials (the largest pet owning generation) as the desire to bring pets to work is a growing trend amongst this generation. http://www.cnbc.com/2015/10/15/more-firms-allowing-dogs-and-other-pets-in-the-office.html
Furry friends running around the office could bring some noise problems and possible confrontations amongst them, however this can be managed with a vetted process. Ensuring only well-trained dogs are allowed into the office would result in less stressed, more productive employees and a warmer, more sociable feel within the business consequently benefitting the organisation as a whole.
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