Let’s face it, dogs make people smile, give positive energy and make the day a whole lot more enjoyable. Business leaders know that happy employees equal increased productivity, so more and more companies actually allow dogs in the office. Just because your company doesn’t currently allow pets in the office doesn’t mean that the policy can’t change.
Here are some suggestions to help you convince your boss to allow dogs in the office:
- Ask your co-workers
- Focus on the benefits for the company
- Offer to dog-proof the office
- Rules and regulations
- Ask for a test week
1. Ask your co-workers
Make an informal survey in your office and find out how many employees are interested in bringing their dogs to work with them, as well as how many are neutral or opposed to having dogs in the workplace. If you can show that lots of employees are interested, your boss may be more willing to consider the idea. For those coworkers who have no pets and express reservations about bringing dogs to work (e.g., barking, unleashed behavior, poorly potty trained), be sensitive to their concerns. It’s a good idea to address them with a similar list you prepared for your boss.
2. Focus on the benefits for the company
Pets in the workplace can boost employee morale and serve as an icebreaker to bring employees together and increase productivity. When we’re busy or engrossed in our work, we often just work straight through the day without taking a break. However, studies show that regular breaks actually boost our productivity. It helps us solve problems and think more creatively.
“With dogs in the office you can create dog-walking groups to encourage employees to get out during lunch and walk their pets, which can have a positive impact on employees’ mental and physical health.”
And last but not least, the company as a whole can build a reputation for being animal-friendly and even attract new employees with the unique benefit of being able to bring their dogs to the office. A great recruitment tool!
3. Offer to dog-proof the office
Your boss may not like the idea of dogs in the office, so stay ahead of any objections by preparing a list of things that will make your office environment “dog-proof.” Find areas outdoors suitable for walking dogs and where where dogs can go potty. Identify spaces in the office that should be dog-free (such as restrooms, break rooms, and common areas). Be aware of areas where you may need to add features, such as special trashcans that accept animal waste.
4. Rules and regulations
This goes hand in hand with dog proofing the office. Inform your boss that you’d be willing to establish an employee-led committee that can write and enforce rules that protect employees and the company. Let your boss, or management team, know who will run the program, write policies and follow up on any complaints. This will take the work and worry out of your boss’s hands, who often don’t want to be burdened with extra paperwork.
5. Ask for a test week
Ask your boss if you can allow dogs for a short trial period of a week to demonstrate that having dogs in the workplace is a benefit for your company. Try it out with one or two dogs in the office to see how your rules and preparations work in practice. A one-day event is not enough to see if it work or not. A longer trial period gives the dogs a chance to adapt, relax and become good officemates.
Did you know…
In a survey made with companies who allow pets in the workplace the results confirmed the benefits of allowing employees to bring their dogs into the office:
- 73% said that having pets in the office increased productivity.
- 58% of employees worked longer hours when their pets were in the office with them.
- 73% said having pets in the office lead to a more creative environment.
- 27% noticed a decrease in employees being absent (of course, who wouldn’t look forward to going into work with a ready-to-pet furry, cuddly pooch there?).
- 100% agree that pets in the office reduces stress and relaxes employees.
- 96% said that pets create positive work relations.