The best things you can do when bringing your dog to work are making him comfortable to the workplace, keeping him groomed and clean and also making sure that over the course of time, the staff also gets friendly with the dog.
Pets are an important part of many people’s lives and dogs are ones that most people cannot just live without. They light up people’s moods and attitudes and are a good way to get off tension.
A study by investigator Randolph Barker, PhD, professor of the Virginia commonwealth university school of business has shown that dogs are the greatest stress reliever for both dog owners and non-owners in the working environment.
Having this pet in the office brings many positive difference and companies that have welcomed them have experienced the following benefits
- Lower stress levels and less absenteeism
- A boost of working morale and productivity
- Employees willing to work overtime
- Improved work/life as having the dog at the workplace is a great way to bridge the gap between life at home and life at work
- Improved office atmosphere and company culture. The office feels more like home and this makes them want to come back to work the following day.
- Attractiveness to talented employees
All these benefits are making many companies interested in becoming pet-friendly. The problem maybe how to start this kind of step up.
It is first of all important to understand that this kind of set up will not happen overnight, but it can really happen and change the life in your office for the better. Here are some tips for making your workplace dog-friendly.
Set Up a Committee
The first step is to set up a committee of people in the office that will discuss the introduction of this policy in the workplace. The committee must have both the dog owners and those who do not own dogs.
The importance of this is to make sure that everyone is represented and what will be discussed will be given consent by those who own the pets and those who don’t. There are companies that started this policy and had to end it because they did not involve everyone when they introduced the policy.
Note that a dog-friendly environment is one that is welcomed by the people who are in that specific place. If there are people who are not fine with it, then it will no longer be friends.
Setting up a committee will make sure that all the important factors are discussed and it is one of the best ways to set rules that will govern the policy.
Setting Up the Environment for Bringing Dogs in Office
There will be different types of dogs that will be welcomed in the workplace. It is therefore important to make sure that the environment is favorable for the dogs. You will need to consider some things that will make the dog comfortable at your workplace:
- Space – make sure there is enough space
- Accessible outdoor areas where dogs can relieve themselves during the day
- Have offices where pets can be contained
Having them in the office also means getting someone who will take care of them in case the owner is caught up with work and they need some attention. In this case, you can find out the colleague who really likes your dog and let them help you when you are held up.
The dog owner also needs to carry his dog’s items which include carrying bags, toys, and food, etc. This will not only make the dog comfortable, but it will also make the owner work with freedom and the office environment clean.
Note that as much as the pet is supposed to reduce stress at work, failure to provide all these will actually make the pet a source of stress at the workplace.
Nobody is perfect, not even the pets, as much as you have trained him or her, an accident can happen, this means that the pet can sometimes get messy, the owner should be prepared to clean up after their pet immediately if any accidents occur.
Dog “hire policy”
Not all dogs will be allowed in the work place. To make sure that the place is good for the dog, it will be important for the pet to be interviewed to find out if it is qualified for the workplace.
The consideration will be based on what the committee agreed on. Some of the basic considerations for most workplaces are
- Health condition of the dog
- Legal and cultural sensitivities among others
- For most companies, the dog must be at least 3 months old
- No infections that can spread
Therapy dogs are some of the dogs that are allowed in most workplaces. A therapy dog is one that will assist a professional service provider.
Apart from therapy dogs, a well-behaved dog will also be allowed in the workplace at any time.
To make sure that your dog is comfortable at the workplace, you will need to understand the hiring policy that the company looks at and make sure that the pet meets all the requirements.
The sample dog hire policy looks like this.
Training the dogs for staying in your workplace
You cannot just have your dog in the office that plays with loud toys, steals people’s food and chews personal items of colleagues at work.
Most companies will only allow pets that are well trained to come to work. It is important for the pet owner to make sure that the pet has got the basic training, your pet should be
- House trained
- Obedient, social in nature and no previous history of biting or aggression.
It is the responsibility of the pet owner to take immediate action if the dog misbehaves at work to avoid causing destruction. This will also apply to other issues like when it gets sick. The owner must be sensitive at making sure that the dog behaves well throughout the day.
This is best ensured by giving sufficient training on the pet on how to behave at the workplace as well as how to handle the things in the workplace. Failure to do this may lead to the dogs being a nuisance than a blessing in the workplace.
Dogs should be well-groomed
You do not want to get to your office with a dog that will make everyone around uncomfortable by his or her smell or dirty hair. Just like you groomed yourself ready for work, do the same for your companion to work. Make sure that he/she looks good by applying all measures that are necessary to groom them.
Do the grooming at home like bathing the dog, which is not done every day, brushing their teeth, shaving their coats, cutting their nails among others. By doing this, you will be helping the dog and the colleagues at work. Everyone will want to associate with a clean pet and this will make him/her very comfortable at work.
You can always carry fur brush in the office to keep him looking good at all times and to avoid his fur from being all over the place.
Alongside this, make sure that you put a tag on the pet for easy identification just in case he/she wanders.
Pet-proof your workspace
You understand your dog well, you have given him the best training but just like a person, there are things that will tempt the dog to get off the good behavior.
Knowing this will help you to check on the things in the office that the dog cannot resist like the things they may consider as toys, the dustbin, snack bowls among others. Checking on these things and placing them in the right place will make the office a friendly and peaceful place for both of you.
Make sure you keep the dog from the clients; you understand that the office staff is okay with your dog but you don’t know if all clients are, to be on the safe side, retrain him from clients.
Introduce your dog to his new environment
Don’t just take him to work the first day and assume he is just fine because you have groomed him, trained him and he is healthy. Just like you, he will need orientation to the new environment.
Using the communication skill that he understands, walk him around the office and introduce him to the new environment, let him get to know the areas that he is forbidden from going and the ones he should go to.
Also, let him know where he can go to play, this can best be done by placing the toys at that specific place. This will help him to be at ease and enjoy the workplace.
Make sure the pet is comfortable around people
This is a workplace that has different people. As much as the pet is allowed in the office, there are people who might be really against. them Check around and find out if the dog is comfortable with most people at work. If there are people who are harsh to your pet or even hate it, let the pet avoid those people.
It is important to consider the feeling of your pet at work and with people to avoid him or her being harassed without you noticing.
It feels so good to have a beloved pet snoozing away under your desk while you are working. It is also relaxing to know that you don’t have to worry about how your pet is doing at home because you have him with you.
This gives you more morale and energy to keep working and finish your projects on time because you have all you care about with you. You can work extra time and you are sure that your spirit will be high all day long.
For this to happen you have to set an environment that is favorable to the pet. Otherwise, you will have a hard time at work trying to make them comfortable instead of working. One of the best ways to do this is by making sure that the company allows you to come with your dog.
You also should know the policy that allows you to come with your beloved.
Carry all the necessary items that your pet will need, train him, groom him, make sure he is healthy and let him get familiar with the environment at the office. This way, you will be sure that the dog is enjoying a friendly environment in the workplace.