During the pandemic and work-from-home boom, more than 3.2 million households in the UK purchased a pet.

With a number of these people now returning to work, employers have been contemplating the feasibility of a dog-friendly office environment.

Did you know that Google allows and encourages workplace dogs, with their furry friends known as “Dooglers”?

Should other firms follow suit, or is the concept simply barking?

The effect on mental health

Pets are widely known to offer social support and reduce stress, and happiness at work has been more important than ever, boosting health, relationships, and motivation.

According to research, 63 per cent of people say that they are worried about their dogs when having to return to work.

As a result, allowing dogs in the workplace could relieve stress and anxiety, with 33 per cent also saying that dogs improve their productivity.

Moreover, further research revealed that employees bringing their pets to work see a 22 per cent increase in satisfaction with their working conditions.

What should you be aware of?

In recent ‘PETitquette’ guidelines published by Pets at Home, employers are advised to make necessary preparations if introducing an office dog.

These include:

  • Having appropriate beds under or near to a pet owner’s desk
  • Regularly topping up water bowls next to a dog bed but not in the way of other workers
  • Giving dogs regular walks and exercise outside
  • Ensuring toys are quiet and squeak-free.

It may also be that your company welcomes dogs but has rules in place, for example disallowing dogs on office furniture, and creating canine-free zones.

Potential drawbacks

Despite the positives, there will likely be many landlords and businesses that are against the notion of pets at work, as well as employees who won’t be on board with it.

It’s important to note that some may have phobias, allergies, or both, so dogs in the workplace would not be suitable for them.

What are your thoughts?

Join in with the discussion and tweet us at @HRCaddy.

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