The unprecedented times over the last couple of years saw a surge in dog ownership to around 12 million. As life returns to some sort of normal, and employees go back to the office, owners are seeking solutions for their dog’s care while they are at work or an option of an office dog.
Dogs in the office
Employers are increasingly seeing the benefits of allowing employees to bring their dog into the workplace as a recent survey showed 54% of employees considering quitting their job if they couldn’t work from home or bring their dog to work. So, what are the benefits of bringing a dog to work and why should employers consider allowing their staff to do so?
Benefits of dogs in the office
Research has shown that simply stroking a dog lowers the stress hormone cortisol and reduces blood pressure. The social relationship between people and their dogs increases levels of the feel-good hormone oxytocin.
Canine companions in the workplace can also boost work-life balance, performance and job satisfaction, as well as increasing positive social communication amongst staff.
Additionally, having dogs at work meant that people were more likely to work later as they weren’t worried about rushing home to get back to their dog.
Who let the dogs out?
So often nowadays people are remaining at their desks to eat their lunch. With your four-legged friend you have the opportunity and the motivation to get away from the screen, stretch your legs, go outside and enjoy some fresh air.
Bring Your Dog to Work Day
If you are not sure that allowing workers to bring their dogs into the office is a good idea, maybe have a trial run by joining in with the annual Bring Your Dog to Work Day.
Companies who participated in the fundraising day benefitted from being recognised as caring and responsible, as well as having better productivity and higher morale from their staff members.
Practicalities of having your dog in work
Although having dogs in the office is likely to be appreciated by most of the workforce, there are some practicalities that must be considered.
- Owners need to take their pets outside for comfort breaks regularly to retain the cleanliness and hygiene of your flooring.
- Some people are allergic to pet hair, so always check with everyone who works in the office that having a dog around won’t be detrimental to their health.
- Dogs need to be kept under strict control to avoid potential brawling with other dogs and disruption; the office is still a working environment.
Dogs in the workplace online courses
To enable employers and employees to share their workspace with dogs in a responsible way, the National Pet College has developed a unique Dogs in the Workplace online course. The course directs learners through a six-step process to allow them to develop a positive, dog-friendly culture.
The course itself is divided into two components: one for the employer and one for the employee. The employer course is aimed at employers who want to learn how to make their workplace dog friendly and understand the benefits of having dogs in the office. The employee course is aimed at employees, who are the dog owners, who want to know the steps they need to go through to responsibly bring their dogs into the workplace. Both parts of the course help ensure intelligent procedures are put in place to protect the business, coworkers, clients and help safeguard the welfare of our canine companions themselves.
The downloadable course comes with a toolkit containing editable examples of the recommended paperwork which includes a risk assessment, code of conduct and behavioural assessment.
The National Pet College training could lead to many more dogs becoming part of everyone’s working lives
Are employees legally entitled to bring pets to work?
There are an increasing number of employers that are allowing pets to be brought into the workplace. In fact, in some cases a disabled employee or job applicant may be able to argue that they need to bring their pet to work – usually a well-trained assistance dog. This may include hearing dogs for deaf workers, seizure alert dogs for workers with epilepsy or disabled assistance dogs for a range of physical disabilities. If an employer were to reject a job applicant who has a guide or assistance dog because they didn’t want animals in the workplace, they could face a claim against them for disability discrimination under the Equality Act 2010, unless they can justify that decision.
Mental breakdown at work
Having dogs in the office, hopefully, alleviates some work-related stress. Sadly, however, many people face issues of stress at work: this can be devastating to your health and cause problems with your employer.
At didlaw discrimination lawyers, they have built their practice around mental health at work. Previously, the Confederation of British Industry has called mental ill health at work the biggest threat to the economy of our times, ranking ahead of terrorism.
didlaw is a niche discrimination law firm that specialises in the rights of people with disabilities and mental health in the workplace. Their worldview is based on providing legal advice and solutions for clients but supporting and encouraging them along the way to help to deal with workplace conflict or stress. They understand the stress of any dispute and their aim is to get clients through it with support.