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MERJE: Should dogs be allowed in the workplace?
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​Having a ruff day at the office? A workplace pet could help!

  • Publish Date: Posted about 1 year ago
  • Author:by MERJE

At MERJE, we have our very own canine crew to cheer us up at work, which is why we want to celebrate them all during National Pet Month.

Our motley mutts include Maggie, Ralfy, Binkie, Queenie, Morris, Wilber, and many more, and we're delighted that they regularly visit us in the office.

Not only are dogs great companions at home, but many organisations are recognising that a pet-friendly workplace can bring many benefits.

In our recent LinkedIn poll, almost half (44%) of respondents said they enjoy having pets in the workplace, and there are a multitude of reasons why:

  • Improves employee health

  • Reduces stress levels

  • Boosts communication and team bonding

  • Increases morale

  • Provides flexibility for the pet owner

  • Decreases absence levels

  • Promotes productivity

  • Encourages regular breaks

  • Can attract potential hires

Having said that, not everyone will necessarily be on board with having pets in the office. In fact, one third (32%) of respondents to our poll said they would not want pets in their workplaces, and 24% said it would be fine on the odd occasion as a treat.

When deciding on your company’s stance in this area, it’s vital to consider all your employees and figure out what will be best for the whole team.

Here are a few things to think about before taking the plunge:

  • Make sure your office has a clear workplace policy around dogs and plan this in a way that works well for everyone

  • Consider implementing specific days or times when employees are or aren’t allowed to bring their dogs into the office

  • Maybe allocate certain spaces where dogs are allowed, and some which may remain dog-free

  • Have a contingency plan in case of badly behaved pets in the office (public liability insurance, or having a sanctions system in place for owners of any naughty pooches who might cause a disturbance)

  • Check to see if any of your employees have pet allergies or phobias, and make sure it is possible to put a plan in place to keep them safe, healthy and happy

  • Make sure the office is pet-proof by tucking away loose cables or other dangerous items that a dog might try to play with. Make sure that human food is kept well away from reach and that any bins are covered with lids.

  • Ensure that there are toys and treats available for any pups who come into the office. This will keep them occupied and entertained while their owners get on with their work.

  • Make sure there is plenty of water available for pups in the office, as well as appropriate bowls for them to drink from.

  • Perhaps think about providing a checklist for any dog owners who are thinking of bringing their pets into work. This could include reminding them to bring along food, treats, clean up items, a blanket/bed, and toys.

Whatever you decide, remember to check in with your employees regularly to make sure your policies are working well and everyone’s still happy. If having pets in the office is causing stress or frustration, be sure to review and update your policy to avoid letting points of contention grow and result in dissatisfied employees.

If you’d like to discuss this or any of the topics covered in our articles, please get in touch.