Sad dog

People have strted taking their dog to work, and Alexandra Jane, from Inspiring Interns, digs down, like a dog with a bone, and looks at a new canine revolution in the workplace.

With 8 per cent of employees now allowed to take their dogs to work in the UK, the canine revolution has begun. Soon our furry friends will be infiltrating every sector of society. Man’s loveable best friend is universally adored – right? Wrong: a significant proportion of people (and aggressive bloggers) are opposed to the growing trend, whether this be for reasons of practicality, allergies, or simply a dislike of dogs.

So what substance exists behind the argument for dogs (and pets in general, though this is less of a trend) in the office? Are they really having a positive impact on morale and therefore on productivity? Are these pooches worth the effort required to facilitate them, or should they be thrown from office environments?

All in favour of canine colleagues:

Boosting morale:

Employees bringing their dogs to work can boost the general mood and motivation throughout the office work day, bringing smiles to more faces and encouraging interaction between colleagues who may not otherwise engage with other. Bringing in a pup will also result in increased interaction between colleagues who may not otherwise have spoken to. Furthermore, a dog friendly office is proven to encourage a sense of cohesion between employees, strengthening bonds of trust over a mutual love for all things cute and furry.

Drawing in the talented youth:

Especially amongst the youngsters of today, having a fun, innovative company culture is an important aspect both in hiring and retaining employees. When promoting your company and trying to attract fresh talent, nothing says fun and friendly like a puppy.

Little fuss involved:

There are lots of appropriate guidelines which can be followed to minimise any possible issues and maximise the positive impact of pets in the office. These include simple steps like ruling that all dogs must be fully immunised, house trained and have no aggression issues.

The top dog:

There is no doubt that when it comes to types of animal, the dog wins by a country mile. Whilst larger breeds may prove impractical, nothing can beat a little sheltie in a cuddles and cuteness contest.

Those against furry nuisances:

Allergies:

The unavoidable fact of the matter is that some people are allergic to dogs, to the extent where working in the same room as one would be nigh on impossible. Whilst in larger companies with a dog-friendly policy this problem is easily solved by segregating employees into dog and non-dog floors, there remains the issue of meeting rooms. In smaller companies the problem becomes even more apparent. Should you happen to employ an allergy ridden team member you may be forced to chose between your four-legged friends and a disability employment battle.

Time, expense and inconvenience:

Whilst providing ‘passpawts’ and assigning titles such as Chief Canine Officer (CCO) to our office Fidos is cute and amusing, these things take time and are hardly going to increase the revenue of the company. Add the need for a free in house vet (as featured in the nestle offices), and the increased cost of cleaning, and you have yourself a full blown extra expense to deal with in the office.

Doggy misbehaviour:

Remember that it’s not just the presence and associated logistical problems of dogs in the office that could prove problematic. You will, inevitably, have to deal with the actions as well as the presence of the canines in the office. Dogs will steal any food that’s available, - whether this be off desks or out of bins, - they may well make a mess of the upholstery and will not necessarily get along with each other. Two docile dogs, if incompatible, can spark enough tension to disrupt an entire office.

Suitability:

Pets are by no means suitable for all working spaces. Any warehouse premises or office involving sensitive or hazardous equipment won’t be able to have pets of any kind present. Health and safety always comes first.

Dislike of dogs:

Whilst many employees will flock around a puppy like ducks to water, there are those who violently dislike dogs, who will pause for thought at the idea of working for a company where pets are very much present.

In conclusion:

In larger companies with the resources and space to accommodate those who would rather stay away from the animal kingdom, a dog culture can thrive, bringing happiness without the corresponding annoyance. In smaller businesses, however, dogs could prove problematic and, depending on the dogs involved, should be limited in number and size.

Nevertheless, having dogs in the office can certainly have a positive impact on the outlook and productivity of employees, so should never be ruled out without considerable thought.

Alexandra Jane is the writer and editor of graduate careers advice for Inspiring Interns, a graduate recruitment agency. Check out their website to see which internships and graduate jobs are currently available. Or, if you’re looking to hire an intern, have a look at their innovative Video CVs.