One of the reasons we feel fortunate to work at Facility Systems is we’re able to bring our dogs to the office. I know it’s not commonplace to do this, but you would be surprised at how they lighten the mood and make a stressful situation seem more tolerable.

Gus and Bud, our two red Labrador Retrievers, make trips to the office daily. Although bringing dogs to work has it challenges, we find the benefits greatly outweigh the negatives. Yes, they may dig through the trash can, pee in the hallway, or wrestle while you’re on a conference call with a client, but when you find Bud lying on his back in the middle of the hallway begging for a belly rub, it’s easy to forget the reasons you were upset.

When you have dogs in the office, you pick up on those little nuances in their personalities, just like you would with coworkers. Bud likes to glance at the storage room when he walks by in an effort to let you know that he would like treat. (He’s figured out where we “hide” them.) On the flipside, Gus is a kisser. If you’re not careful, he’ll jump up and kiss you on the lips when you first meet him. Don’t worry. He eats Greenies to keep his mouth clean. We would never let Bud kiss you. He’s a garbage disposal.

While we are a dog office and many aren’t, there is evidence it can lessen stress at work. In a study by the Virginia Commonwealth University that was summarized by Inc. Magazine, they found “employees who brought their dogs to work experienced lower stress levels throughout the work day, reported higher levels of job satisfaction and had a more positive perception of their employer.” You can find the full article here.

Before you put this type of policy in place, make sure you consider the dogs’ temperaments, whether or not your employees are “dog people,” any allergies and the logistics of letting the dogs go outside frequently for exercise and bathroom breaks.