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We’d all love to bring our dog to work. Not only would they put a smile on everyone’s faces, but work would be even more fun, right?
At Spot, we love having dogs in the office. Having our furry friends join us during the workday fits with our mission of creating happier, healthier pets…and it makes the day more interesting. Nothing boosts your energy quite like seeing a “coworker” catch a case of the zoomies!
See some of our office pets on our resolutions blog.
It is essential you take certain precautions before bringing a dog or puppy into work with you. In this article, we’re going to break down tips for creating a dog-friendly workplace for both office management and pet parents.
Although it’s tempting to only think about the joy of having dogs in the office, we need to slow down and evaluate the potential downfalls of having dogs around at work. It’s important to establish ground rules for pet parents bringing their dogs into the workplace.
Does anyone have dog allergies or a fear of dogs? Is there enough of an interest to make this a worthwhile endeavor? Is anyone distracted by dogs at the office? Ask co-workers and employees these questions before bringing dogs into the workplace.
Is your office dog-proof? Although not enjoyable to consider, how would your company handle a situation where a dog was injured or where a dog injured an employee? How can you reduce the risk of this happening in the office space?
Create a workplace pet policy to set clear rules and guidelines for pet parents before they bring their dog into work. Establish a checklist for dog parents. Which criteria does their dog need to meet before they can be brought in? Do they have to be a certain age or show proof of vaccinations? Should they need to be spayed or neutered?
Can dogs be brought to work every day? Is it okay to have dogs underfoot during the busiest time of the year? Are employees allowed to bring their dogs in every day or only on designated days?
Are only dogs allowed at the office? Make sure you’re clear on who is welcome from the beginning to avoid confusing situations in the future.
How can pet parents balance being productive while having your dog at the office? Cory Cook, time management and productivity coach shares her tips.
If you’ve been thinking about taking your dog to work, you might be wondering how, or if, you’ll manage to be productive at the office with your favorite furry friend in tow? Before you load Fido into the car, it’s worth looking at the big picture – is this best for you, your co-workers, and dog?
Under the right circumstances, dogs at work can promote productivity by reducing stress and improving well-being. There’s an element at play called ‘the pet effect’ – the bond between humans and animals that positively affects the health and wellness of both. And happier people tend to be more productive.
You’ll need to consider the workplace pet policy and your co-workers. You’ll need to be honest with yourself about your dog – for instance, is your dog calm around people and other animals? Does he or she obey commands? Is your dog housebroken? If not, you risk causing disruption that won’t be conducive to anyone’s productivity.
After you’ve reviewed the company pet policy, ensured your dog meets all the requirements, and felt confident your four-legged office pal will fit right in, keep these productivity tips in mind while your dog is at work with you:
Of course it helps if your dog is already calm by nature. A new environment with other people, and possibly other dogs around, might make your pet react differently. For your dog to feel comfortable, you’ll want to create a workspace that feels less foreign, and more homely, cozy and familiar.
For instance, bring in a dog bed, a crate, a blanket, whatever your dog likes to snuggle up in. To pre-empt any boredom, toss in a few well-considered toys – meaning nothing squeaky or distracting. Remember to check your space for anything potentially harmful or hazardous, e.g. cords, that your dog may be tempted to munch on. And of course, don’t forget the treats!
With your pooch content, you’ll be able to carry on with your work.
At first, your dog may be a distraction to you and/or your co-workers. Be prepared for other interruptions as well. By their very nature, dogs will attract a lot of attention in the office.
Well-meaning colleagues may want to dip in and out of your office to pet or play with your dog. Although that’s great for your dog, as well as bonding opportunities between you and your co-workers, such interruptions may become a real time-suck. At the end of the day, you still need to get your work done.
Establish some boundaries upfront and openly communicate them with all colleagues. Explain that although your dog loves the attention, you find it best if you can avoid interruptions whilst you work. Invite them instead to interact or join you during walk or play breaks. That way everyone benefits from social interaction while maintaining work commitments.
Your dog will need routine breaks and attention throughout the day. Use these mini-breaks to regulate your own schedule. For example, use the time between those walks and pauses for focused sprint work. That built-in time crunch will impose a sense of urgency, prompting you to stay on task and get your work done. Make it a challenge; knuckle down and get important chunks of work accomplished before the next break.
Breaks aren’t just for dogs; you need them, too. When we work for long periods of time, we deplete our brain’s energy stores. Frequent breaks enable us to restore energy, reduce mental fatigue and improve our effectiveness so we can continue. As a bonus, when we shift activity – like taking a walk – our brains actually continue working in the background to solve problems we’ve been working on.
So think of Fido’s schedule as a built-in ‘productivity framework’ that helps regulate your work-break balance, thus improving your productivity!
It’s easy to become overexcited at the prospect of bringing your pets into the workplace. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of the top tips you need to know about bringing your dog to work.
Break this association by taking your dog on some fun rides before their commute to the office. Try taking them to a dog park, dog-friendly restaurant, or drive-in restaurant to alleviate their fear.
Pack some of your dog’s favorite, quiet toys (no squeakers!) and a favorite bed or blanket for them to snuggle with. Take it a step further by packing quiet puzzle toys, like KONGs, to entertain them.
Take your dog to regular veterinary appointments to ensure they are happy and healthy. Spot Preventive Care coverage, which is available at an additional cost per month, and it helps with the cost of routine vet care so that your pup can stay in top shape!
Of course, the benefits of having a pet-friendly office revolve around employee happiness, but it is also a good idea to keep an eye on your dog’s emotional state. For more information on this, check out our article on signs your dog is happy.
Although we’d all love to bring our dog to work, some dogs may not be comfortable with the noise level, number of people, or the environment of an office, and that’s okay. Above all else, your pup’s health and happiness should always be your top priority. Be sure to keep your pooch healthy with dog insurance plans from Spot.
If your employer doesn’t allow dogs in the workplace, they may still provide pet perks in other ways. Spot Pet Insurance partners with employers and brokers to offer their teams a 10 percent employee discount, and a 10 percent multi-pet discount for any additional pets. Learn more about getting your company involved with pet insurance employee benefits if they aren’t already, and get one step closer to becoming a pet-friendly workplace!
Here at Spot Pet Insurance, we do our best to provide helpful dog info. We care deeply about your dog’s health and want to be with you every step of the way. For other helpful info about pets, check out our Spot Pet Insurance webpage! Here we provide you with educational materials that can help you with the best foods, toys, safety, and care tips for your dog. We also offer personalized pet insurance plan options to help keep your dog protected in case of unexpected accidents and illnesses.
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