The 500 pound dog in the room.
The 500 pound dog in the room is the question about whether or not to allow dogs at work.
Full disclosure. I love dogs. And my daughter made it part of her employment contract that her dog could be at work with her and her bosses agreed to it.
That said. I know there are at least two sides to this and I’m open to explore it all.
I travel to a lot of companies and I see the whole spectrum.
- No dogs allowed
- Only the owner’s dog is allowed
- The office staff is allowed to bring their dog
To me, all of the above is fair if the policy is discussed and made clear as to what the rules are.
Of the three scenarios above, I only have an issue with just allowing the owner to bring their dog to work. Different sets of rules for the boss and employees is not the way to be and act like you’re on the same team, in my opinion. But in the end, you’re the boss and you get to make the rules. Still, you need to make it known.
In favor of the no dogs at work policy is avoiding the need to institute policies that must be written and enforced. And if the dogs are out of control, the office can be out of control too. It can be a distraction if there’s no structure to it. And it can lower the level of professionalism if unchecked. The sound of dogs howling while you’re trying to book a call can be problematic. There are issues with dogs not playing well with other dogs and humans, so insurance issues and festering anger all come into play. Many people are allergic to dogs so what accommodation will there be for them in the workplace?
This blog had some other good reasons to pause before you install the doggy-door in your office:
Many other companies seek to bypass the whole issue by just banning all pets at work. And it’s not too hard to see why they’d like to avoid the issue. For instance, if I don’t have a dog, do I get to bring my cat, my hamster, my canary, my pet snake….you get the picture?
In favor of allowing dogs at work with solid policies that are regularly monitored is recognition that we work long hours. If we’re allowed to bring our dog to work, we don’t have to rush home to attend to them. If they’re vaccinated, house-broken and more, they can be a calming influence on the office during breaks. They can even help promote taking a walk, clearing the mind by getting some quick exercise vs. getting another donut.
Many of the progressive big corporations in America are beginning to allow dogs in the workplace because they see it as a moral boost and actually a productivity boost.
Should you wish to explore more about making your office dog friendly, here’s a great blog to help begin the process:
Work lives and our personal lives are becoming intertwined in ways that seemed unfathomable a decade or two ago. We’re so wired into our work these days that there are few among us who aren’t regularly checking emails, texts, fielding phone calls and doing homework assignments long into the night and on weekends.
The 9 to 5 workday was never in the equation for those who chose the contracting business for their trade. That has always been the constant. But nowadays, we are all more demanding and we want it now. That means those we serve also want it now. With this in mind, our lives outside of work with our families and our pets [our extended family] are getting squeezed.
Good food for discussion? I think so.