As dog-friendly workplaces are on the rise, office printing specialists Brother have teamed up with Certified Animal Behaviourist, Caroline Wilkinson, to reveal ways employers can ensure they are providing a safe environment for pets and colleagues.
Companies in the software development industry are the most likely to be pup-friendly, with over a quarter saying yes to pooches, followed by marketing, sales, business development, and recruitment.
Here are the top tips to make both employees and their dogs feel comfortable.
Make sure dogs are allowed
It's really important if a company is going to allow dogs that they have an office dog policy which allows all current and new staff to be in alignment with the rules and regulations when it comes to bringing their own dogs into the office.
Think about space
Things to consider in the office policy might include how many dogs can comfortably attend each day. Having a free-for-all can end up with chaos and stress, for both the humans and the dogs of the office. It's important to not only consider how much physical space is available for those dogs, but if there are easy ways to separate them - either by child gates or doors - if the need arises.
Read the canine body language
Regular Canine Body Language training sessions should also be incorporated so that those colleagues who aren’t so familiar with being around dogs can understand how the dogs are feeling – when it’s ok to approach the dogs and when they need space.
Take a break
It's important to create some calm spaces where the dogs can comfortably sleep - or it might be even better to only allow dogs in for a maximum of four hours at a time, so that they go home for a well-deserved rest in between.
Not all dogs are office dogs
Some dogs just aren't suited to an office - they might find it too exciting, or it could be a highly stressful experience for them. Assessing each dog for its individual suitability is really important, as is having an open dialogue with the office member on an on-going basis to keep checking if the dog is coping.
Creating some calm, enrichment zones is also a lovely idea. Just like you might think of the fun things you can add to an office break room for the humans - a space with different textures, toys, and stuffable food toys can be great for dogs to spend a few minutes of positive time so they aren't getting bored of sitting around all day.