As far as workplace trends go, you’d think bringing dogs to work would be at the bottom of the list. But more companies are exploring the option, largely due to the benefits these four-legged friends potentially provide. Not only does this practice improve the overall work environment, but dogs -- though they themselves don’t do any work -- have been known to increase productivity.
According to a survey by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, 17 percent of employers allow animals in the workplace. Surprisingly, this practice isn’t just exclusive to more creative-based enterprises, as it spans a number of industries. The major players include the likes of Google, Zynga and Amazon.com, but other companies, like Media1, an HR consultancy; AnchorFree, a computer security platform provider, and the Squires Group, a consulting and IT staffing firm, are also in the doggy game.
Dog-friendly employers believe letting pooches come to work fosters a friendlier and more collaborative work environment. Plus, employees tend to be more loyal to dog-friendly companies. Companies that allow dogs at work often see lower turnover rates, fewer absences and a greater willingness to put in additional hours, which stands to reason. Employees no longer need to get home to let the dog out. Better yet, that canine companion could improve the health of employees. Just the presence of a pet can reduce blood pressure and cortisol levels, explains Drew Gannon in an article for “Inc.” magazine. Think about what dogs at work could do for insurance costs.
Looking for a job that allows your best friend to tag along to work has gotten a lot easier, thanks to the World Wide Web. Many job sites now let users apply a filter to find dog-friendly work environments. Just click and you can access a number of employers. Of course, you’re limiting your prospects exponentially, so you'll have to decide if you'll make that tradeoff.
Take Your Dog to Work Day
For anyone working at a dog-unfriendly business, set aside time to research Take Your Dog to Work Day. As of 2013, TYDTW Day was in its 15th year. It usually happens in June, and organizers have expanded it to become Take Your Dog to Work Week. If you want to work with your dog by your side, consider approaching your boss about a trial run a few months before the next event. Suggest a survey to gauge the opinion of colleagues; some may not like the distraction or may just not like dogs.
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