“Dogs in the workplace: good for business?”

Having Fido join you in the office might seem like the best thing since tennis balls for dog lovers, but is this a view shared by business leaders? The May 2017 edition of Director magazine investigates.

Championing our four-legged friends is Alice Weightman, Founder and CEO of The Work Crowd. Alice writes: “We find [having dogs in the office] helps create a more relaxed, happy and productive environment.” She continues, “Pets are famously good for the health, with studies showing they can help lower blood pressure and reduce anxiety. With regular reports of stressed employees and the effect this has on absenteeism and productivity, having animals around can help alleviate those feelings.”

On the other side of the debate sits Rachel Carrell, Founder and CEO of Koru Kids. Rachel lists wet dog smell and allergies among her reasons for not allowing dogs in her office, but above all she feels that the office environment simply wasn’t built to cater for canine needs. “…at some point [owners] will be at an external meeting or emergency, at which point the pet becomes the unwanted responsibility of some other poor person.” She concludes, “Office rents are high, and our office is about the right size for our team. It’s not the right size for our team plus their dogs.”

Animal lovers shouldn’t despair just yet though, as Rachel doesn’t completely rule out allowing pets in her office – “A fish might be OK.”

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