Workplace Goes To The Dogs

by Mary Haight on March 5, 2009

Dogs At Work

Dogs At Work

What better way to work than with your dog by your side?  And if you can’t manage a work-at-home job, the good news is business is becoming more savvy about the benefits of allowing well-mannered pets to come into the workplace, according to USA Today.

The American Pet Products Association ran a survey of small businesses and found that 20% of respondents have pet-friendly policies.  In these difficult economic times, it is an inexpensive “perk” that keeps stress levels down as more work is shared by all.  Worries about dogs home alone are not an issue any longer, and it has been reported that even employees who do not have pets benefit from working with happier, more relaxed colleagues.  The chance to  meet and greet some friendly dogs is another plus. 

In my experience, quality of life at work is an important condition for team work and creative productivity. Dogs in the workplace is a program  that  can play a significant part in creating those conditions.  In the spirit of promoting this program and helping companies formulate a successful pet friendly policy, California dog trainer Liz Palika and HSUS’ Jennifer Fearing put together a book Dogs at Work: A Practical Guide to Creating Dog-Friendly Workplaces . ($21.95) Fearing was responsible for the HSUS dog-welcoming policy instituted two years ago, reporting zero incidents since inception with 50 dogs, cats and rabbits participating(mostly dogs!). 

The guide does much of the work for the company considering a pet policy, erasing the hurdles involved with determining employee interest and ultimate buy-in to policies, procedures, and sanctions. While not all companies are suited to starting a” bring your pet to work” program, those who are have just had a blueprint for success handed to them.  See Sharon L Peter’s USA Today article for more.

The dog in the photo is Rep Mark Souter’s, who takes him to work on Capitol Hill.  Lucky dog!

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