The Pet-Friendly Workplace
Several years ago I made the decision to let our staff bring their dogs to work. At first it was mainly only one dog, Bailey, who came a few times a week. Everyone fell in love with Bailey and she is now an institution here. She is well behaved, doesn’t bark or growl, doesn’t jump on people – most of the time (she is older now) she sleeps in her bed in her owner’s cubicle but she is allowed to roam and visit at will. Then others started bringing their dogs – not every day but enough to make a positive impact on our environment.
Bringing dogs to the office has definite benefits: improved morale as pets bring out our softer sides, increased interaction among departments as staff now have something in common that might not have existed; increased retention if bringing a pet to work is of great importance.
There are rules however. Dogs must be well behaved meaning no barking or yapping, no jumping up on people, no “accidents” (we do have an outdoor green area for that purpose), no biting (immediate expulsion), no fighting with other dogs. They must have had their vaccinations and flea treatments. The dogs that visit our office just love being with their owners and around people so they are a joy. So far, we don’t have staff with dog allergies, and now we let candidates that we are considering for a position here know that we do bring dogs to the office. As other issues surface, we will make other rules but so far, the positives have far outweighed the negatives.
I am the only one who has brought a cat to the office and it was not a good experience for either one of us. Even though cats sleep a lot, many are more timid and less social and can be frightened of a lot of strangers trying to pet them which is what happened with my cat. I finally had to take him home and his mood immediately changed to happy and purring!
Many companies are now realizing the benefits of pets in the workplace, but know that there must be proper pooch etiquette and behavior!
Chief Pooch Lover,
Valerie Freeman |CEO
BravoTECH | freeman + leonard | Imprimis Group