Dogs Make Employees More Productive

May 26,2011
Lindsay Hutton( )

Do you have a dog?

Unfortunately, I don't...yet. Growing up, my family always had a dog (among all the other pets-- horses, rabbits, cats, hamsters, gerbils, a turtle...you name it, we had it. I guess those are the benefits of growing up on an apple orchard.)

But, now that I'm on my own, living in an apartment in a city, the thought of having a dog sometimes seems impossible.

It's not that I don't want one-- I'd love to have a furry little guy to come home to, especially come August when I finally move into my own apartment by myself.

But, as much as I want one, I just don't think it would be fair. I'm out of the house by 7:15am, five mornings a week, and usually don't get home until around 6 if I go to the gym after work.

That would mean my little guy would be home alone for almost 11 hours at a time.

I know it's doable, and I know people who do it, and I also know doggie day care is an (expensive) option. But, I still need to think long and hard before making the commitment. I mean, if all goes well, I'll have my dog for 10+ years. That's not a spur-of-the-moment decision to make.

However, if my company allowed pets in the workplace, it would most definitely have an impact on how soon I got a dog. And according to this article, it would make me more productive too.

It seems more and more companies are allowing employees to bring their pups to work. I remember in college, a professor used to bring her dog to work almost everyday. She had a little playpen set up in her office, and it would just hang out with her all day. I remember thinking how cool that was.

I also have a friend who works for a small, family-owned business that allows her to bring her dog to work. She just hangs out in the office, napping and playing while my friend works.

I can see how this might not be feasible for big companies (like mine, unfortunately), and I can also understand there being rules about your dogs behavior. (A quiet, well-behaved, housebroken dog that just hangs out while you do work is obviously much different than a little puppy who is yippy and has to be taken out every half hour to do his business. Adorable? Yes. A distraction? Definitely.)

But I can also see the benefits of this. Allowing dogs might make employees more productive. Like the article points out, it might make them more willing to stay late if they know they don't need to rush home to their canine companion.

And there just seems something...I don't know...soothing about having a little ball of fur with you while you work.

What do you think? Do you think  more dogs should be allowed in the workplace? Or do you think it's too much a distraction? Also, is it crossing the line between work and home life? I'm curious to know what you think!