From decreasing stress, to encouraging openness among employees, dogs in the workplace can make people happier, healthier, and more productive. But getting your office to open its doors to dogs is not always easy. Here are some talking points and tips that may help you get the powers at be on board.
Know Your Facts
According to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, nearly a quarter of American employees believe that pets should be allowed in the workplace. Numbers like this speak volumes for business owners, especially if your office is in need of a morale boost, or productivity spike. Do your research, and begin your meeting with facts that support your proposal.
Say, "Well, GOOGLE is doing it..."
Some of the most successful businesses on Earth are already encouraging their employees to bring dogs to work. In fact, according to research by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, more than 20 percent of all American companies allow dogs in the workplace. And that number is growing every year. Borrow this list of the nation's most successful dog-friendly offices to prove that this is, in fact, an effective workplace strategy.
- Ben & Jerry's
- Indiegogo...and the list goes on!
Do some research to make a list of companies in your industry and bring it with you to your meeting. Success stories and personal endorsements from local businesses may also help build your case.
Bring a List of Proposed Rules
Employers may be concerned about order, cleanliness, and the potential for distraction. Here's some inspiration:
- Dogs should be vaccinated, trained, housebroken, friendly, clean and generally healthy.
- Dog owners should be 100% responsible for their pets at all times.
- No dogs in client meetings (unless requested, of course)
- Barking must be kept to a minimum.
- Three strikes and you're out!
Propose a Dog-Free Work Zone
It's unfathomable to most of us, but some people just don't like dogs. Proposing a quiet, dog-free area will accommodate everyone and ensure that all employees feel comfortable and safe. You may also consider requiring dogs to stay on loose leashes all day, or at least in the beginning, in order to put the skeptics at ease.
If you come prepared and approach your meeting confidently, you stand a good chance of convincing your office to go dog friendly. So what are you waiting for? Time to put in that meeting request. Good luck doggy advocates!