With National Dog Day just around the corner, we sniff out six top reasons to onboard a canine colleague.
Besides the obvious plus points of boosting the warmth and friendliness of your working environment, you may also notice knock-on benefits to your business.
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Six ways dogs in the workplace can benefit your business
1. Dogs can help you de-stress and refocus
Hitting a bump in the road as a small business owner can be overwhelming, as it’s likely you’ll need to fix things yourself. What better way to take a step back and reassess the situation than a few minutes spent playing with the dog? You might just find you come back to the issue with a clearer head – and even a way forward.
2. Dogs can boost customer relations
There’s no denying that dogs can be a talking point. Taking your pooch out for daily walkies is one of the surest ways to strike up a conversation with a stranger. Apply this theory to your workplace and there’s every chance you’ll find it easier to get talking to potential customers or business partners.
3. Dogs can make exercise part of your working day
Forget the gym. If you bring your dog to work, there’ll be no stopping you from getting out for fresh air at lunchtime. There’s also the knock-on effect of clearing your head ready for a productive afternoon.
4. Dogs give four-legged friendship
Being self-employed can be a lonely business – especially if keeping everything going falls on your shoulders. That’s where the companionship of a loveable canine comes in. With a dog by your side throughout your working week, you’re likely to feel less isolated and therefore more positive.
5. Dogs can make businesses appear more approachable
Business deals aren’t always known for being the warmest and friendliest of situations. But bringing a dog to the negotiating table could soften the hard edges of even the toughest of customers. With a dog to reduce the seriousness of proceedings, you might just walk away with a better deal for your business.
6. Dogs help attract the best talent
If your business is big enough to have employees, allowing them to bring their dog to work could help you attract and retain the best people. Any dog lover is likely to choose you over another employer who doesn’t allow pets in the workplace. Similarly, they’re likely to stick around for longer, rather than jump ship to an employer who doesn’t allow dogs at work.
With plenty of positive reasons for introducing a dog to your workplace, there are also a few practical considerations to bear in mind.
First, check your insurance policy. Having a dog in your office, shop, site, or other premises may invalidate your liability insurance. You should also check the terms of your fire safety certificate.
Depending on the nature of your business, customers, and employees, you may want to set some ground rules about where dogs are and aren’t allowed to wander.
It’s also a good idea to make sure their flea and worm treatments are kept up to date, and put in place any extra arrangements to ensure your workplace is kept clean and hygienic.