June 9 2019 - The 21st annual Take Your Dog to Work Day will take place on Friday, 21 June this year. The purpose of the day, which was created by Pet Sitters International is to not only celebrate the joy dogs bring into our lives, but to promote their adoptions as well. While the event has skyrocketed in popularity since it was first celebrated in 1999, there are still some businesses that are unsure of whether they should partake in the special occasion or not. While the day is filled with fun and boosted productivity for some, others find it downright unpleasant. It is recommended to weigh up all the pros and cons before deciding to give the event a ‘thumbs up’ or ‘thumbs down’ this year.
Consider the advantages first
Even if you offer your employees the most pleasant working environment in the world you will find that there are times when everyone experiences increased stress levels. While there are many ways in which to counter this stress nothing is quite as effective and satisfying as having a dog in the office. Employees who bring their dogs to work typically see their stress levels decrease during the day according to the International Journal of Workplace Health Management. Even just being in the vicinity of a beloved dog can reduce the production of the stress hormone cortisol and boost the amount of stress-relieving oxytocin that is produced in the brain.
Productivity and team morale is likely to increase
Partaking in Take Your Dog to Work Day will not only be fun, but it will also more than likely encourage employees to work harder and be overall more productive, resulting in a win-win situation for all. As everyone in the office is likely to be happier having a couple of dogs around it is only natural that team morale will improve significantly. You may even find that your workers aren’t quite as eager as normal to take a lunch break or leave work at the end of the day as having their dog with them decreases the urge to rush home.
How to make the best out of the day
If you do decide to allow your staff to take part in the day, there are a few guidelines to follow that will ensure that everyone enjoys the day and that no chaos arises. The most important thing to do is to make sure everyone is on board with the idea. Even if you only have one staff member that is petrified of dogs it is something that needs to be handled in a sensitive, caring manner. Make an effort to set up food and water stations for the dogs or encourage each staff member to bring their own supplies from home. While no registration for participation is required you can use the day to collect funds for a local animal charity by asking employees for donations or by selling raffle tickets with a cool prize. You can perhaps make a nice hamper filled with a variety of doggy treats and toys or, alternatively, offer a subscription box as a prize that will see the lucky winner receive a variety of pooch-related items on a regular basis.
Are there any disadvantages to participating in the day?
Despite the many advantages of taking part in Take Your Dog to Work Day, there are also a number of reasons why it may not be a good idea. The industry you operate in may not allow you to have animals on your business premises. This will include large portions of the hospitality and health industries as well those concerned with education. As much as a dog can be seen as a natural icebreaker it can, unfortunately, also cause a disruption. Some employees may become so distracted by having a dog to talk and play with, that they hardly get any work done. It is also important to remember that some employees may be allergic to dogs and that the dogs may not all get along which can result in a nasty dog fight on your premises.
There are definitely both advantages and disadvantages to participating in Take Your Dog to Work Day. At the end of the day, it is important to make a decision that will benefit the business and your employees the most.