Written by Law Express Ltd.
In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of dogs joining their owners in the workplace. We now have five dogs which regularly come to work with their owners, and all have agreed to pose for this photograph and have contributed to this article. The presence of dogs in the workplace can have benefits for all. In this blog post, we’ll explore the pawsitive impact of dogs in the workplace and how they can contribute to a happier, healthier, and more productive working environment.
The initial concern of the employer may be that dogs in the workplace could cause a distraction to employees. Studies show, however, that dog-friendly workplaces contribute towards increased productivity and lower absenteeism.
Interaction with dogs has been scientifically proven to lower cortisol and increase the release of oxytocin. As cortisol is a stress hormone and oxytocin is a hormone associated with happiness, having a four-legged friend to interact with in the workplace can provide a stress relief and morale boost that counteracts demanding deadlines and high-pressures situations.
A dogs playful and inquisitive nature can create a positive working environment and encourage employees to interact and socialise with one another. In turn, this fosters better relationships between colleagues, enhancing teamwork and morale in the workplace.
It is well known that a sedentary lifestyle can have a negative effect on physical health. In traditional office environments, employees may spend most of their day sat down. Dogs in the office can encourage exercise and engagement in activity such as a short, brisk walk with the dog(s). The feelings of companionship that dogs offer helps mental wellbeing by alleviating loneliness and isolation. At Law Express we encourage our Team members to take a break with the hound of the day.
Companies that allow dogs in the workplace often find themselves with a positive public image. A pet-friendly policy can be an attractive perk for potential employees as it demonstrates the company values employee happiness and work-life balance. This can assist with attraction of top talent and employee retention.
Before allowing dogs into the working environment, an employer should consider their duty of care towards all staff and visitors to the place of work. An employer may wish to consider whether other staff are comfortable with dogs, whether any staff member is allergic to dogs (and if so, how to manage the risk to them), whether the dogs who visit the office are well mannered and interact well with their furry peers who may also visit the office, which areas of the workplace the dogs will be allowed in (for example, not allowing them in any food preparation area. Whilst these are some of the risks to consider, an employer will want to conduct a full risk assessment.
Once the initial concerns that allowing pets in the workplace would create nothing short of a dog’s dinner, evidence shows that wet noses and wagging tails in the workplace help create a harmonious, productive working environment with pawsitive benefits for employees and employers alike.