With studies showing that pets in the office can not only improve productivity, but help to de-stress the environment, more and more companies are allowing people to bring their dogs to work.
The rates are still low with the percentage of pet-friendly offices in the U.S. being only 17%, but among that percentage, major companies like Google and Amazon are on the list. While there are some complaints regarding allergies and distractions, the majority of people who work in companies that allow pets are happier. One of the studies shows that even the absentminded “scratching a dog behind the ear allows even the most worked-up employee to relax and reprioritize.” And researchers say that for some that’s the equivalent to a smoke break, and a far healthier option.
Despite the handful of those opposed to the idea because of allergies or personal aversions to dogs, the American Humane Association has tips about how to prepare your office for the transition to one that allows pets.
1. Set up rules. Make sure everyone clearly knows the policies if they’re going to bring their pet into work, and that the rules apply to all employees – even if they’re bringing in a fish in a bowl.
2. Expected behavior. There should be a clear line as to what is appropriate behavior from both the human and the pet. “You wouldn’t tolerate a lot of barking, snapping and snarling from the people you work with,”explains Randy Hetrik, the founder of TRX Training in San Francisco, “Neither should you tolerate it from the canine pals you bring to work.”
3. Possible repercussions. Despite the fact that we do tend to treat our pets like they’re human babies, they’re still animals. Some animals are prone to acting aggressively when they’re scared or confused. In the case of something happening, there should be an action then a resolution already put into place. Steps should be followed so every person and animal feels safe.
It was Charles M. Schulz who said “happiness is a warm puppy.” He never said that that happiness couldn’t be in the office.
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