The truth about office dogs… At Amelore we have an office dog.
Jasper is a black Labrador/Spaniel cross and comes to work with my husband who is our part-time and very flexible Financial Controller, Head of IT Support and creative lead amongst other things.
Jasper loves his routine. He walks across the fields each morning with my husband to take the children to our local village school. Then they head into the office and he positively runs in the door. Having burst in he drinks a large amount of water and then wipes his wet chops on our Operations Manager Sam. He rushes around to greet everyone and then he crashes out on his bed.
He barks at all the deliverymen and occasionally at clients if they arrive early for a meeting (if we don’t know they are dog friendly he has his own dog sitters in the office next door or failing that he sulks in the family bus).
Now over the years I have come across dogs at work and it can work very well and it can work very badly.
When I worked in the public sector it was quite common in the rural offices for people to take dogs to work but keep them in their cars, walking them regularly and sitting with them at lunchtime.
One of my clients introduced a rescue dog into a crowded workspace and it bit an employee. She was very understanding but that was not sensible on many levels and clearly the employer always has a duty to provide a safe environment for its employees. A bite is a personal injury and can be serious.
Recently we hired someone that wanted to take her dog to a central London office everyday on the tube but we said no to that. The office was busy and there was nowhere for the dog to be exercised.
The thing about any animals in the office is that not everyone likes them. It can really add a friendly, healthy dynamic to your company as we feel Jasper does, but if we wanted to hire someone that didn’t like dogs (they would have to be exceptional!), Jasper would sadly no longer be coming to work.
If you are thinking about having an office dog, make sure everyone is happy about it and set out the rules. Certain environments (warehouses, factories etc) are not dog friendly and the temperament of the dog is a key and major factor.