Dogs in the workplace: what every business owner needs to know

Pretty asian woman working remotely from home using laptop sitting on the couch or sofa in living room for work online with pet puppy cute dog and guardian, work life balance conceptWe are all longing for normal life after lockdown but what will happen to our dogs who have got used to having us at home all day long?

Will they suffer from separation anxiety which might cause behavioural and mental problems? One solution would be to take them to work but what should business owners consider if they are thinking of allowing dogs in the workplace? Let’s have a look at the benefits

Benefit 1. More productivity

Taking pets into the workplace improves our productivity. Scientists from the University of Southern California say that spending too much time, too close to a project or problem without a break can reduce productivity and result in unnecessary stress. Although not taking breaks may seem productive, the quality of work usually declines. This is where dogs come in! They remind us to pause, step back, and take a break from whatever we are working on. Short walks, pet playtime, and temporary distractions with our furry friends give us much needed mental breaks so we don’t get overworked and stressed out. In turn, we become more productive. According to research from Virginia Commonwealth University, nearly half of surveyed workers who brought their dogs to work reported increased productivity.

Benefit 2. Stress reduction

Dogs in the workplace are a great way to reduce stress as even our hormone levels get positively affected by the deep-rooted bond with them. After just five minutes of cuddling our dog, the “happy hormone” dopamine, “wellbeing hormone” endorphin and “love hormone” oxytocin are all excreted more. At the same time, the levels of our stress hormone cortisol are significantly reduced. What’s better than having natural stress reduction to combat heavy workload?

Benefit 3. More positive relationships

Strong, positive and trusting relationships with our colleagues can make or break the work morale and subsequently the company. Owning a dog can enhance our careers and help us to climb the corporate ladder. A study of Banfield Pet Hospital revealed that 79% of surveyed people believed that co-workers with pets were hard workers. When we regard our colleagues as hard working, our attitude towards them will be much more positive from the onset. This can create a great chance to build high-performing teams in a friendly, relaxed and successful work environment.

Benefit 4: More creativity

Often, we are under so much pressure that it is hard to come up with creative ideas. A Banfield Pet Hospital study found that an amazing 77% of survey participants say they come up with business ideas while walking their dog. So, by talking a short walk with your dog during the lunch break will not just refresh you physically but can help new creative and innovative ideas flow.

Benefit 5: Dealing better with rejection

In every business, rejection is common, either from other team members or customers. This can greatly impact our momentary mindset and lead to major frustration and reduced work performance. A study of Arcadia University, Pennsylvania, found that momentary feelings of social rejection can be soothed by having a dog nearby. Therefore, a dog in the workplace is an immense help to build a strong shield against rejection and reduce frustration.

Benefit 6: Higher employee satisfaction

A study of Virginia Commonwealth University revealed that bringing dogs and pets to work not only reduces absenteeism, but it may also contribute to higher job satisfaction for all employees. A friendly, healthy, and positive work environment with reduced stress and good work morale provides the foundation for greater job satisfaction and thus higher employee retention rates.

Benefit 7: More work friendly environment to future prospective employees

A workplace that allows dogs can be a huge bonus for many potential job seekers. Companies who want to attract high-profile talent will have the edge over companies that don’t.

Don’t forget the dogi-quette

One thing needs to be clear; business owners who allow dogs in the workplace must set out proper rules. This means that all dogs that come to the office must be properly trained to obey commands and must be friendly and sociable with other dogs and people. They should remain in their dog beds under or next to their dog parent’s desk and not bark. They need to be correctly vaccinated and routinely checked by the vet to avoid the transmission of any diseases to other dogs in the workplace.

With the many benefits that dogs in the workplace can have, business owners should be much more open to the idea. The benefits, in my opinion, outweigh any disadvantages by far and can create a sociable, productive work environment with satisfied and happy employees.

About the author

Dr. Margit Gabriele MullerDr. Margit Gabriele Muller is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine with a doctorate in falcon medicine an MBA and more than twenty-five years of experience. She is a sought-after speaker and Certified Life Coach, NLP Master.

Dr. Muller is the Executive Director and Chief Veterinarian at the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital in the United Arab Emirates – the world’s largest falcon hospital.

Dr Margit Gabriele Muller is executive director, chief veterinarian and author of Your Pet, Your Pill: 101 Inspirational Stories About How Pets Lead You to A Happy, Healthy and Successful Life by out now, available on Amazon.

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