You Have to be Barking to Work in This Office
It is not such a crazy idea – bosses are increasingly letting employees bring their animals into the workplace in an attempt to tackle stress and improve staff retention.
Pets are great stress relievers and, according to research by animal charity The Blue Cross, 90 per cent of small businesses that allow dogs have noticed a positive change.
Two-thirds claim staff morale lifted while 56 per cent believe “pets improve work relations and half have noticed a decrease in absenteeism.
According to the website officebroker.com, more businesses are allowing pets in the workplace.
Managing director Jim Venables says: ‘Serviced offices are receiving more requests from tenants whose staff are keen to bring pets to the office.’
John Gardiner believes his wire-haired dachshund Teeky helps him win business for his plastic recycling company, Gardiner Compounds, based in Burford, Oxfordshire.
John, 59, says: ‘I set the business up from a home office five years ago so I am used to having Teeky around. When 1 needed more space, a key criterion was that Teeky could come along. She wins people over.’
However, employers need to think before introducing such a policy. Venables says: ‘Does the company have liability insurance in case a pet bites an employee? Will the company be liable to charges of discrimination if a job candidate can’t take up a position because of a pet allergy or phobia?’
Employers should establish off-limits areas to accord with health and safety legislation. And noisy, destructive or disruptive pets should be banned.