Post by Blog Manager Robbi Hess
If you’re a pet lover I’ll bet you know that Friday, June 26 is Take Your Dog To Work Day. It can be a day when dog lovers look forward to because they can bring their furry little bundle to the office. It could also be a day that your co-workers look forward to, but not with enthusiasm. Why wouldn’t they welcome Fido or Fifi into their office with open arms? There are myriad reasons, some of which could be that your pet is not “office-ready.”
What is “office-ready”? It means (in my mind) that your pet is well-behaved and has the kind of personality you’d love to share with your co-workers. Keep in mind that even though you don’t mind when your dog shreds newspaper, it might irk your co-workers. Even though you have become “deaf” to the high-pitched barking of your mini-poodle it could be disruptive to your colleagues, especially if they’re on a phone call.
Also, don’t forget that not everyone is enamored of pets. It’s true. Your colleagues could be allergic to pet dander, or they may have had a bad experience with a dog in the past. Trust me, just saying, “He won’t bite” may not be enough to calm the fears of a fearful co-worker. In fact, your pet could sense that person’s fear and it could make him agitated — not a good situation for anyone.
Even though I work from home, in the past, when Henrietta was a puppy I did work outside of the home and I was able to take her with me every day and here is what I gleaned when it came to her being “office-ready” and accepted by customers and colleagues alike:
- She doesn’t bark in public. At home, she barks a LOT, and I am okay with it. I would not be okay if she barked like that in public — it would have meant I would have had to leave her at home because it would simply be too distracting.
- She is 100% housebroken, no matter where she is. There are some dogs that I have known who had to mark their territory no matter where they were — carpeted office floors, concrete garage floors, linoleum office kitchen floors. You get the picture. No matter where your dog is, he or she should be trained well enough that there will be no accidents at the office.
- She doesn’t race up to people and demand attention. I realize that at eight pounds, Henrietta racing up to you would be a different kettle of fish from the 125 pound Spenser racing up to you. Keep in mind, though, if someone isn’t a huge fan of pets this could freak them out. Also, if someone comes into your office and isn’t anticipating a rousing greeting from a pet, he or she could be startled, could drop items or it could lead to an uncomfortable confrontation between you, your pet and your colleague.
- She is a velcro-dog and is rarely further than paw length away from me at any time. This worked to our benefit when I was at the office because she stayed in her bed, under my desk right at my feet. She didn’t get up and wander away. Imagine if she had and decided to snatch someone’s lunch from their desk. Not good!
- She has a high threshold for boredom. Henrietta, for the most part, likes to lie around the couch and chill out. That is ideal when we go places because she can “amuse” herself by either having me pet her, by chewing on a bone or by sleeping. If your dog is high energy and needs to be constantly entertained, you may need to think about whether you will be able to get your work done if he is with you. Your colleagues will not be happy if they’re covering for you because you’re too busy playing with Fido or Fifi
What should you think about if you want to take your dog to work? Here are a few things:
- Make sure he or she won’t be marking their territory and using the office as a bathroom
- Make sure he or she is well behaved and won’t jump on colleagues or won’t bark throughout the day
- Keep him with you at your desk, don’t let him wander the office without a leash and without you
- If your pet isn’t well-socialized, it may not be a good idea to bring him to the office until he is
- If you have a job that is meeting-intensive and you aren’t certain your pet will be allowed into those meetings, you might want to leave him home rather than locking him in your office or tethering him in your cube
- If you’re bringing your pet, bring items from home that can soothe her because the change in environment could be unsettling
- Make sure there is an area where your pet can go to relieve himself. PS pick up any poo, don’t leave it lying there!
Do you take your dog to work? What do you to to make certain he or she has the best office etiquette possible?
(Photo: Henrietta; Photo Shutterstock: Dog on a computer)