Pets at Work
Pets at work? Hot dog!
HCK2 is a dog-friendly workplace, much to the delight of our employees and clients – not to mention our tail-wagging pack of fur-babies!
Although we fancy ourselves as experts on bringing your pets to work, we’re happy that researchers and psychologists have also recognized and validated the benefits.
For starters, dogs improve employee happiness, build friendships within the workplace, and prompt interactions that may not have happened otherwise. Increased interactions can lead to improved communication, gained trust and ultimately improve productivity.
A 2012 study by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University also found that employees who brought their dogs to work had reduced stress throughout the day compared to colleagues without pets. Similarly, research conducted by the University of Missouri-Columbia found that humans who pet a dog for 15 to 30 minutes experienced an approximate 10% drop in blood pressure. Dogs in the workplace also prompt their owners to take walk-breaks throughout the day – further enhancing our overall health and wellness, as well as energy and productivity. In our own experience, we’ve found our office dogs not only promote a happier environment, but are a true reflection of our company culture and are a part of our team. They roam the halls, join meetings and provide moments of unique entertainment and comradery in an otherwise typical workday.
While the benefits are numerous, there are concerns that every employer should take into consideration before allowing dogs in the workplace:
- Beware of allergies. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America found that 15-30% of Americans have some kind of pet allergy – and reactions can sometimes be severe. Employers need to be sensitive to potential safety (and legal) issues.
- As much as we tend to humanize them, our pets are still animals and need to be acclimated appropriately to new environments, especially when there are other animals and people involved. When new dogs join the workplace, introduce them slowly outside or in a spacious and neutral area.
- Be sure every pet is up-to-date on vaccinations and flea prevention.
- If your business is involved in medicine, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, or foods, having pets at work may not be safe for animals — or consumers.
If you are considering opening the door to your employees’ four-legged children, join the crowd! It could fetch you more positive outcomes than you imagine!