Today's guest post is by Peppercommer Shira Palka.
Many call themselves animal lovers, claiming that “a dog is man’s best friend,” so would it be that crazy to imagine your best friend sitting beside you at work? While Peppercom acquired its name after a beloved dog, there are no puppies or kittens running around the office just yet. CNN recently wrote about the phenomenon of having pets in the office as a way to reduce stress on employees, and perhaps even attract clients to a unique and relaxing work environment.
The International Journal of Workplace Health Management recently published a study which revealed that employees who did not have dogs at work indicated higher stress levels and lower satisfaction rates, compared to employees who brought their dogs to work. Perhaps having dogs in the office can build company morale and promote friendships, like the live feed of Shiba Inu puppies did among the Peppercom interns. Having common likes and interests with the people you work can ultimately enhance the quality and efficiency of the tasks being done.
Allowing dogs in the office may have its upsides, but the downsides are equally inevitable. If you are sitting next to the guy who keeps sneezing from your pet’s soft, shedding fur, you may have a problem. Allergies are probably the number one reason for keeping them out. If you forgot to train your dog as a puppy and he accidentally bites another employee, you can both be sniffing up a lawsuit.
A dog can inappropriately bark during a meeting, lick the furniture in your cubicle, even eat your lunch when you look away, but perhaps companies are starting to view it as more of a helpful creature than useless monster, if the right rules are in place. Google’s dog policy, for example, requires that owners who bring their dogs to the office must have their pets properly licensed, vaccinated and supervised. If the dog has fleas, you’re both out of luck. Just like humans follow rules of common courtesy and respect, these dogs would have to do the same.
Perhaps I barked up the wrong tree with this post, as I may be responsible for the 20 dogs that appear in Peppercom’s kitchen tomorrow morning, but this is more of a “what if” type of situation which can either be utterly disastrous or greatly advantageous. Some people may even approach the topic as a joke, yet the companies who are proof of such a successful scenario can be examples for expanding the nature and atmosphere of many work forces. I’m curious to hear what professionals and thought leaders in the industry would make of having dogs in their offices: could it work or would it be destined to fail?