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Updated: Jun 25, 2015
Did you know inviting dogs to work is a great way to boost employee morale and productivity without spending a dime?
In fact, a recent study by Virginia Commonwealth University found employees working in a dog-friendly office produced lower levels of the stress-causing hormone cortisol.*
Since having a furry friend nearby can help keep you calm on even the most chaotic of days, it was a no-brainer for San Francisco-based small business lender Funding Circle to adopt a dog-friendly office policy.
Want to transition to your own dog-friendly office? Here are a few tips from the Funding Circle People Ops team for getting started.
First, check with your building manager and insurance company first to make sure having dogs in your space doesn’t break any rules in your lease or liability coverage. Second, ask your canine colleagues and their owners to verify their up-to-date vaccinations and accept responsibility for any property damages by signing a consent form with paw prints and signatures, respectively. As much joy as dogs might bring to your office, it’s no good for anyone if you’re all in the doghouse!
Even the best-trained dogs need some guidance, so set some basic ground rules for them (and their human companions) to follow. Collaborate with dog owners and non-dog owners to draft a policy and rules that everyone can agree not to pick a bone about. At Funding Circle, dogs must be well-behaved toward humans and other dogs (and carpets).
You wouldn’t hire a new human employee without getting to know them first, so make sure every new dog is interviewed for cultural fit too. Basic training, a pleasant bark, and a good social personality are a must; fetch skills testing is optional. Funding Circle’s recommendation: They should be cute, but not so cute as to be distracting in meetings.
Funding Circle has a 5 dog-per-day limit, and their Office Manager uses a shared Google Calendar to coordinate visitors. Tip: organize the canine headcount in a way that pairs together friends, and separates pups who might not be the best personality matches.
Don’t be shy about marketing your dog-friendly office as a corporate wellness perk! A dog-friendly policy is a fantastic recruiting tool, because employees love being able to bring their pet to work instead of leaving them home alone all day. When weighing potential job offers, a potential hire may choose to join the company that’s happy to have them and their furry friend instead.
Is your small business team (canine or otherwise) growing rapidly? Learn more about how a Funding Circle business loan with competitive interest rates that can help you take your operations to the next level.
* Fast Company. “Your Definitive Argument for a Pet-Friendly Office.”
Paige Smith is a Content Marketing Writer and Senior Contributing Writer at Funding Circle. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and specializes in writing about the intersection of business, finance, and tech. Paige has written for a number of B2B industry leaders, including fintech companies, small business lenders, and business credit resource sites.