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The growing trend of dog-friendly offices and workplaces

Dog-friendly offices have become a growing trend, with many businesses noticing the benefits of having canine pals around the workplace.

A new report by Time detailed how dog-friendly work policies impact employees at Amazon and other companies with similar allowances.

According to the report, there are over 1,000 dogs at Amazon’s Seattle headquarters, but currently, only eight percent of offices and workplaces in the United States let owners bring their dogs to work.

The attraction of a dog-friendly workspace is obvious to any dog lover and owner. Animals have been known to provide comfort and stress relief, which can be an important factor for employees who may be overworked or suffer from depression or anxiety.

Dog-friendly policies can also be a boon to owners who don’t like leaving their dogs at home alone for long stretches of time. From the standpoint of the business, it can be beneficial to have employees less likely to rush out of work as soon as they can.

As more and more millennials enter the workforce, having dog-friendly spaces could be an increasingly important factor in what jobs and companies people pursue.

Research has found that millennials are more likely to splurge on their pets than themselves and that pet ownership is influencing home buying.

A 2017 survey conducted by SunTrust Mortgage found that among millennials who had not yet purchased a home, 42 percent said that their dog or the desire to have a dog would be a key motivator in buying a house.

“Millennials have strong bonds with their dogs, so it makes sense that their furry family members are driving home-buying decisions,” SunTrust Mortgage CEO Dorinda Smith told Time Money. “For those with dogs, renting can be more expensive and a hassle; home ownership takes some of the stress off by providing a better living situation.”

Given the strong relationship that people have with their pets today and the increasing popularity of dog-friendly workspaces, it’s important to consider not just the benefits but also the challenges that could come with such policies.

Allergies, aggressive or antisocial dogs, accidents, and distractions are all important things for a company to consider before allowing dogs.

One study conducted by researchers from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted that before any policies to allow dogs are put in place, consideration needs to be made for the health and safety of employees as well as any legal issues that could arise.

Still, the benefits may outweigh the occasional incident, as boosting morale and productivity can be a win-win for businesses and employees.

By Kay Vandette, ,Staff Writer

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