Dogs in the Office: Delightful or Distracting?

Dogs are said to be (wo)man’s best friend, but are they best for the workplace?

What could be better than having a loving, little furry friend run up to greet you every morning when you step foot in the office? Receiving such unconditional love is guaranteed to start your day off on the right foot, kick starting your motivation.

Personally, I love being able to bring my dog (featured above) to the office. I think that it creates a more welcoming environment and can even be enticing to potential new hires. It also saves me from having to worry about what he’s doing home alone all day, as well as saves me money from having him go to doggy day care or with a dog walker.

Being around dogs has shown to lower the levels of stress in your life and increase your levels of serotonin, so if you are having a bad day just call that adorable pup over to your desk and take a few minutes to pet him/her and enjoy the love that they radiate.

Having a dog in the office that wanders from desk to desk increases the possibility of employees who don’t normally connect to interact with one another on a more consistent basis. This can get ideas flowing and improve employee relationships.

As much as I would love to believe that there are only pros to having a dog around while you work, there are definitely a few cons to be on the lookout for.

Dogs can sometimes become unnecessary distractions; between any barking and whining that occurs, having to be walked periodically during the day and distracting employees from their work. The dog’s owner should be able to control their dog and make sure that he/she is acting like a mini four legged employee should. Dogs playing with each other can be extremely entertaining, but can also disrupt the flow of work.

Some dogs resort to chewing and destroying items when left alone or feel anxious in new situations, causing damage to office equipment. Accidents do happen (and need to be taken care of immediately and thoroughly by the owner), but some people prefer to just avoid the possibility of it occurring altogether.

Making sure that the dog is up to date on all vaccines, house trained and well behaved are just a few requirements for owners before allow their dogs to enter the office on a regular basis. Some companies may want to include some clauses in their pet policies, such as some consequences the dog would face if it acted out in an a, b, or c manner. There could be legal and insurance worries that would come along with having a dog in the office. In the case that someone is injured by the animal, the company’s owners should have their bases covered.

Here at Working Planet, we have found that the pros more than outweigh the cons, and happily share our office with our four-footed friends. If you have dogs in the office, be clear with owners about the expectations for dog behavior in the office. Address the fact that dogs are in the office with potential employees to surface allergy (or even fear) issues. In the end, it’s up to you whether you believe that the positives outweigh the negatives, which can be a ruff decision (Ba-Dum Pa).