As lockdown restrictions begin to ease in the UK and people start returning to the office or workplace, it is important to consider how our dogs will adapt to the change and how they might be accommodated in our office environments and places of work. As an organisation that welcomes dogs in the office, we’re encouraging employers and employees to consider the benefits of opening their offices to dogs. Whether you’re a business owner or a dog owner, we have lots of tips and advice on how you can make the most out of dogs joining you in the workplace.
Benefits for you and your dog
There are lots of benefits for both you and your dog by taking them to work. Did you know, a recent survey showed a third of people agreed that having dogs in the office improves productivity? By taking your dog to work, you can help reduce the likelihood of separation anxiety and any costs associated with them being looked after. Also, if you’re someone who rushes home for lunch, you can now enjoy an hour in the park with your dog instead. Need more convincing? Read our list of benefits below.
- Reduces separation anxiety
- Enables dogs to get used to different environments
- Dogs are an easy way to break the ice with someone new – there are so many stories you can tell about your dog!
- No need to rush home at lunch, you and your dog can enjoy a walk in the park
- Reduces stress – 70% of people think dogs can alleviate stress in the workplace
- No additional costs for pet care
Things to think about before you head into the office with your dog
- Find out about the office dog policy, if your company has one
- If your journey to work requires public transport, will your dog feel comfortable? Read more about travelling with your dog on public transport
- Do you have time in your working day to take your dog out for regular walks/breaks?
- If you have a young puppy, have you toilet trained them? Read more on toilet training
- Make sure you take with you a dog lead, dog collar, ID tag, water bowl, food/treats, toys, poo bags and blanket/dog bed
- If there are other dogs and people in the office, is your dog ok around them? Are they happy and confident in new environments? Read more about socialising your dog
- Is your dog ok with sitting/staying if needed?
Are you thinking of allowing dogs in the office and are wondering what the benefits are? We’re here to help you. In a recent survey, results showed that 63% of people are worried about dogs bought during the pandemic being abandoned when ‘normal’ life resumes. Offering a dog friendly work environment could help to alleviate that worry for employees and bring numerous other benefits.
Research by us shows that people believe there are many advantages to workplaces being dog friendly. The research showed:
- 70% of people say that dogs alleviate stress in the workplace
- 67% of people say that dogs make the atmosphere more friendly
- 51% of people say that dogs improve morale and job satisfaction
- 51% of people say that dogs encourage employees to take breaks from the screen
- 45% of people say that dogs make the company/org more attractive for job seekers with dogs
- 33% of people say that dogs improve productivity
- 25% of people say that dogs make the company/organisation more attractive for job seekers without a dog
Preparing to make your business ‘Open for Dogs’
If you are considering opening your office to dogs, here is a list of things you should think about before adopting a dog friendly policy:
- Size of organisation (number of people and space in office)
- Layout of office
- Working environment
- Additional cleaning
- Employees' allergies
- Insurance cover should anything happen
- Download our 'Open for Dogs' sign and place these in areas where dogs are safe to go
- Purchase some dog bowls, treats, blankets and poo bags for your employees to use should they forget to bring theirs in
Once you have decided you are ready to make your office open for dogs, download our free 'Open for Dogs' policy template. It is important that you clearly outline expectations and rules in relation to dogs being in the office, which will ensure that dogs and employees are safe and happy.
Fun things you can do:
- If you have a newsletter, why not use this to introduce each office dog to your subscribers?
- Office dog wall – why not take photos of all the office dogs and have a wall for them?
- Once the policy is in place, why not host induction meetings to introduce new dogs to the office environment?
- If you don’t want to allow dogs in every day, why not have an office dog day where all the office dogs can meet?
- Request an Open for Dogs sticker from us.
Our partner Purina has a free ‘Pet Friendly’ took kit. Find out more information and advice on taking your dog to work by visiting their website.
Our office dogs
We are pleased to be able to say we are an ‘Open for Dogs’ office. From our regular visitors to our seasoned ones, we love seeing them around the London and Aylesbury offices. Meet some of our Kennel Club office dogs below.