The research speaks for itself.
Dogs are the best. They fetch us the paper and offer unconditional love. They can also, according to experts, increase productivity in offices.
“If you’re looking for ways to lower the stress levels and improve morale in your office, consider becoming a dog-friendly workplace,” says Michelle McCormack, experienced Melbourne psychologist, workplace consultant and dog owner.
“The benefits are really too good to ignore. They can have a calming influence on your team, improve office communication and increase job-satisfaction levels – all of which can help increase overall workplace productivity.”
Research far and wide supports this. Studies have confirmed that dogs can have a positive effect on organisational commitment, improve team cohesion, and lower employee cortisol levels, the hormone brought on by stress.
“It just shows how powerful pet companionship can be,” says McCormack.
“The positive effects can be even stronger where there is only one or a handful of employees. We’re wired to feel comforted by being around others, including pets, so small offices should really think about becoming a dog-friendly workplace."
Australian offices that are pet friendly include the Kikki K head office, Hardie Grant, Melbourne Theatre Company, and Broadsheet Media.
Businesses shouldn’t just jump to allow pets in offices, though. The nature of the dog needs to be considered first as not all are suited to offices. The last thing you want is a disruptive dog, barking all day, shedding lots of hair and pooing everywhere.
Also, check whether any employees are allergic to dogs, or have any related phobia. As owner or office manager, you are ultimately responsible for providing a safe working environment for all staff. And before any dogs enter your premises check with the owner that the animal is up-to-date with vaccinations, and have a leash and appropriate bedding.