Since I work from home, my two dogs are always by my side. If it’s chilly in the house, Roscoe snuggles up on my office chair and Moose sleeps by a crackling fire. On a toasty afternoon, they both stretch out on the cool wood-paneled floor.
Although they don’t make an obvious contribution to my workday, their presence has an impact on my performance. When my alarm goes off in the morning, Roscoe is sniffing my face, making sure I don’t hit the snooze button. If I’m restless during the day, Moose hints that a family walk will clear my head. If my writing arsenal is depleted, I observe them for a little inspiration. Added bonus? I never have to eat lunch alone.
About 39% of American households have a dog – 65 million dogs in total. For those individuals who work outside the home, well-behaved dogs are increasingly accepted at many places of business. One 2009 survey reported that about 20% of companies have pet-friendly policies. There’s even an official “Take Your Dog To Work Day” on Friday, June 25th of this year.
Some believe that having dogs at the office helps build employee relationships, encourage a calming atmosphere and reduce stress levels. However, critics of dog-friendly employer policies suggest that barking canines disrupt the continuity of business, active dogs encourage work-place accidents, and excessive pet dander facilitate allergies and increase employee sick days.
What’s your take – Should dogs be allowed in the workplace?