Top tips for creating a dog-friendly workplace

16th Apr 2024

In recent years, more and more companies are embracing dog-friendly office policies, and for good reason! Not only do our furry friends bring joy and companionship to the workplace, but they can also have a positive impact on employee wellbeing and productivity. A recent study by CESAR®Canine Cuisine has highlighted that dogs at work can have a positive impact on company culture, the employee experience, recruitment and retention.

In fact, the number of candidates searching for dog-friendly companies has skyrocketed. Between Dec 2023-Feb 2024 on the Flexa platform, the number of candidates searching for dog-friendly offices and dog-friendly jobs increased by a whopping 69%! 

So if you're considering creating a dog-friendly office, you're not alone! In this blog we will share our top tips for designing a safe and welcoming space for both two-legged and four-legged employees, as well as explore the many benefits of having pups in the workplace.

Benefits of a dog-friendly office

1. Reduced stress and increased happiness

A number of studies have shown that having dogs in the workplace can significantly reduce stress levels and boost overall happiness and morale. Just a few minutes of petting or playing with a furry friend can release feel good hormones like oxytocin and serotonin, leading to a more positive and relaxed work environment.

2. Increased productivity and creativity 

Contrary to popular belief, having dogs in the office can actually increase productivity and creativity. Taking short breaks to play with or walk a dog can help employees recharge, refocus, and come back to their work with fresh ideas and renewed energy.

3. Improved teamwork and communication 

Dogs have a unique ability to bring people together and foster a sense of community in the workplace. Having a shared love for our furry friends can break down barriers, spark conversations, and improve teamwork and communication among colleagues.

4. Attractive perk for employees and candidates

As the Flexa data shows, more and more job seekers are prioritising dog-friendly workplaces in their job search. By offering a dog-friendly office, you can attract top talent, improve employee retention, and position your company as a forward-thinking, employee-centric organisation.

5. Better work-life balance 

For many dog owners, having the ability to bring their furry friend to work can significantly improve their work-life balance. No more rushing home to let the dog out or paying for expensive doggy daycare - employees can enjoy the companionship of their pet while still being productive at work.

Tips for creating a dog-friendly office

1. Lease a dog-friendly office space 🏢

Before you start bringing pups into the workplace, make sure your office space allows for dogs. Check with your landlord and discuss any restrictions or requirements, such as the number of dogs allowed at a time or specific areas where dogs are permitted.

2. Dog-proof your office 🐶

To ensure the safety of both your human and canine employees, take some time to dog-proof your office. This may include securing loose cables, covering exposed outlets, putting lids on trash cans, and creating designated food storage areas to keep curious pups away.

3. Create a dog schedule 📅

To avoid overcrowding and ensure a manageable number of dogs in the office at any given time, create a dog schedule where employees can sign up to bring their furry friend to work on specific days. This will also help you plan for any necessary accommodations or supplies.

4. Choose a dog-friendly location 🌳

When selecting an office space or planning outings, look for locations that are conducive to having dogs around. This may include proximity to parks, green spaces, or dog-friendly restaurants and cafes where employees can take their pups for breaks and socialization.

5. Provide dog essentials 🦴💧

To keep your office dogs happy and healthy, make sure to provide essential supplies like water bowls, treats, waste bags, and toys. You may also want to designate a specific area for dogs to rest or play, such as a cozy corner with dog beds or a small fenced-in outdoor space.

6. Have a plan for problem-solving 🤔

While many dogs adapt well to office life, there may be instances where a dog is disruptive, aggressive, or uncomfortable in the workplace. Have a plan in place for addressing any issues that may arise, such as a designated quiet space for anxious dogs or a policy for handling any incidents between dogs or with employees.

7. Be inclusive and accommodating 🌈

While a dog-friendly office can be a great perk for many employees, it's important to remember that not everyone may be comfortable around dogs. Some may have allergies, phobias, or simply prefer a dog-free environment. Be clear about this on your company website and job ads or if you can look at creating a designated dog-free zone.

Creating a dog-friendly office can be a fun and rewarding way to boost employee morale, attract top talent, and create a positive work culture. By following these tips and considering the benefits, you can design a safe and welcoming space for both your human and canine employees.

Remember, a successful dog-friendly office requires planning, communication, and a commitment to the wellbeing of all employees - both two-legged and four-legged! With the right approach and a little creativity, you can create a workplace where everyone can thrive. 

With the right steps and processes taken into consideration, a dog-friendly workplace can bring so much joy and happiness. Check out some of the top dog-friendly companies that have the best flexible working environments.