Is your office going to the dogs today? Maybe it should be. According to a recent survey, the majority of dog owners say they would put in longer hours at the office if their furry-friend could accompany them. And 38 million people believe that having pets in the workplace would increase productivity.
Take Your Dog to Work day is an annual event that began in 1999 and was the brainchild of Pet Sitters International. That first year approximately 380 businesses participated nationwide, and the number continues to increased. In fact, some small businesses have created pet-friendly environments year-round.
Why? First, it is an excellent benefit to offer employees. Small businesses can’t compete with big companies when it comes to benefit packages, but many pet-lovers would give up certain perks for the privilege of taking their furry-friend to work with them.
Also, in a recent survey conducted by Pet Sitters, some 55 million respondents said they believe pets in the workplace enhance creativity and help co-workers get along better. Thirty-seven million said they think pets at work improve the relationships between managers and employees. And amazing, 32 million think pets in the office would decrease the amount of smoking.
So if you are interested in making your office a dog-friendly environment, here are some tips to get your started.
* Talk to your employer and co-workers. Get the buy-in from management and make sure other employees are enthusiastic about the idea too. If there is someone in your office who is allergic or extremely afraid of dogs, then your company may not be a good candidate.
* Establish guidelines. If you get the green light to move forward, then make sure you work with management and co-workers to establish guidelines. When are animals allowed? What types of animals? What are the requirements to be considered an appropriate office pet? These are all questions that should be answered in advance.
* Prepare your pooch. Make sure your pet is ready to go to work. An office pet should be well socialized with other animals and people. It should know its commands and how to mind its manners. Also, you’ll need to have the necessary travel items such as a bag, bowls, toys, treats, etc. In addition, your animal must be healthy, well-groomed and absolutely house-broken.
* Prepare your work area. Make sure the work environment is free of items that might put your pet at risk. Also, clear a space so your pet with have its own little area.
* Pooch Patrol. Your office will need to elect a few people to be on a pooch patrol committee. Someone has to have the authority to restrict misbehaving pets from returning to the office.
There’s more information about Take Your Dogs to Work Day on their web site.