It’s one of the more affordable (and adorable) perks a company can offer: allowing employees to bring their dogs to work, either on a part-time basis or every day. Dog owners love it, of course, but for less pooch-oriented employees, it can be a distraction at best and a health hazard at worst.
Let’s look at the pros and cons.
1. Happier employees. A study from Virginia Commonwealth University showed that reported stress levels fell to 11 percent on days when dogs were allowed in the office. On non-doggy days, their stress levels were 70 percent.
2. Healthier employees. Stress triggers the release of the hormone cortisol which, in excess, can exacerbate conditions like heart disease and thyroid dysfunction, as well as impairing cognitive performance.
1. Sicker employees. Wait a second, didn’t we just say dogs in the office made people healthier? Well, yes, but only if they’re not allergic.
2. Annoyed employees. Farhad Manjoo at Slate offers a great description of how the office dog can become the office distraction:
“If you’re in the office and someone has brought her dog in for the day — because, fun! — the dog is sure to come around you, get between your legs, rub against your thigh, take a nap on your feet, or do some other annoying thing.
“If the dog’s owner notices these antics, I can promise you she won’t apologize for the imposition. Nor will she ask you if you mind her dog doing what he’s doing. Nor will she pull on its leash, because there won’t be a leash, this being an office, where dogs are as welcome as Wi-Fi and free coffee.”
Something to think about, before your office goes all dog, all the time.
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