One of the hardest things about living with dogs is leaving them behind every day for the office. Those puppy-dog eyes can really do a number on a dog lover. Fortunately, more and more workplaces welcome dogs. That improves the lives of dogs, their guardians, and the company’s bottom line.
Employers report reduced absenteeism and longer average work hours among employees who bring their dogs to work. In turn, employees who share their workdays with their dogs say it boosts their creativity and productivity while also increasing positive social interactions with colleagues. It’s no surprise that more and more dog lovers cite a dog-friendly environment as one of the things they look for in a job search.
Of course, not all workplaces are appropriate for our four-legged companions. Not all dogs are a match for those that allow them, either. Shy and fearful dogs are likely happier left in the predictable peace and quiet of home, where strangers don’t appear around every corner. Dogs that are uncomfortable around fellow canines may find the confined spaces of a typical office—cubicles, elevators, hallways, and the like—too challenging to share. And most dogs with lots of extra energy will prefer a dog walker over having to chill in the office for hours on end.
Should you have the opportunity to decide if your dog is a good workplace candidate, consider the comfort of coworkers, too. Live with a dedicated barker? All that canine shouting can be distracting to others’ productivity. If you do bring your dog to work, engage in positive reinforcement training to teach your dog office manners like sitting to say hello and staying on her bed when you need to focus. Speaking of dog beds, the right office gear will help set you and your best friend up for success. Invest in a good baby gate if you don’t have an office door, keep stain and odor remover on hand, and don’t forget to bring plenty of chews and toys to keep your dog gainfully employed while you work.