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The Benefits of Dogs in the Workplace

If you didn’t already know, we’re quite fond of man’s best friend here at Design Manager. Our doors are always open to our four-legged furry friends, and it seems like we’re not the only ones.

Pet-friendly workplaces are becoming increasingly popular these days, and with companies like Google, Amazon, and Etsy leading the pack, one can assume it’s not just a fad. In fact, according to the 2018 SHRM Employee Benefits Survey, 9 percent of employers now allow pets in the office full-time. That’s up from four percent five years ago, and we’re confident that number will continue to rise. If your interior design business is on the fence about adopting a pet-friendly policy, take a look at some of the key benefits found by welcoming Fido into your showroom.


REDUCED STRESS

There is no debating that the companionship of a dog is a great cure for stress. So it should come as no surprise that a 2012 study, published by the International Journal of Workplace Health Management, discovered that dogs in the workplace serve as an incredibly effective stress buffer. In fact, the survey found that stress-levels dropped significantly amongst employees with their four-legged friend by their side, whereas those who didn't have a pet (with them or at all) experienced increased hormonal stress levels. It might be time to rethink your firm’s annual wellness retreat.

Upside InteriorsPhoto Courtesy of Upside Interiors

ENHANCED COLLABORATION

Let’s face it, we’re all different and we don’t always see eye to eye. Whether you’re disagreeing over room layouts or project budgets, everything changes when you’ve got a dog chasing his tail two workstations over. Whether an adorable dog meme or pictures of a coworker’s new puppy, dogs are a natural conversation starter (and babies too, but they get enough attention already). Introducing a dog to your office will naturally boost conversation between peers, and make those water cooler, or bowl, visits much less awkward. A survey by Nationwide and HABRI found that “more than three times as many employees at pet-friendly workplaces report a positive working relationship with their boss and co-workers, significantly more than those in non-pet friendly environments.” So, if your team relationships are on the fritz, or you could use a boost to company morale, look no further, this guy’s on the case.

Lisa Torbett Interiors, Inc.Photo Courtesy of Lisa Torbett Interiors

INCREASED PERFORMANCE

We all know that work performance and employee engagement go hand in hand. The more engaged your employees are, the greater their output. So what happens when you introduce pets into the office? A pet-friendly workplace effectiveness study found that “90 percent of employees in pet-friendly workplaces feel highly connected to their company's mission and fully engaged with their work.” This translates to a willingness to work longer hours and decreased absenteeism. Dogs, 1. Foosball table, 0.

Angela Reynolds DogPhoto Courtesy of Angela Reynolds Design

TALENT IMPACT

As firms look to provide perks aimed at attracting and retaining top talent, many are coming to realize the value in offering a variety of pet-related benefits, especially as they relate to millennials. Perks like pet insurance, pet-related PTO, training discounts, and even boarding reimbursement during business travel are becoming increasingly popular amongst millennial applicants. According to Banfield Pet Hospital’s annual PAWrometer survey, 42 percent of millennials surveyed cited pet-oriented policies as an influencing factor in their job search, and 60 percent consider such benefits when deciding to stay with their current employer. If it’s a standout employee experience you’re after, you might want to reconsider your paw-ternity policy.

Core Home dog-740760-edited

Photo Courtesy of Core Home
 

If your firm doesn’t yet have a pet-friendly policy, now might be the time to reconsider. By adding a furry team member to your firm, or at least a few added pet perks, you can make an immediate impact to your company culture, from greater social support for employees to increased employee loyalty. And for another effective solution in reducing your team’s stress level and improving collaboration and communication, be sure to sign up for your free 1-month trial of Design Manager. 

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Janna Chanoux
Janna Chanoux
Although Janna’s been trying to persuade us since day one, we still don’t have an office dog. She graduated from Kutztown University in 2015 with a degree in business administration and joined the Design Manager team right out of college. She loves having the opportunity to learn more about technology and interior design on a daily basis. Janna doesn’t like “yard games,” but we force her to play them with us anyway (spikeball is our thing). What she really likes is making meatless versions of her favorite foods (she’s a vegetarian), binge watching TV series, trying new makeup, and going on walks with her dogs.

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