Q: A group of co-workers and I are trying to convince our boss to have a policy allowing us to bring our dogs to work. As the owner, she already brings her very mellow dog to work every day. While she loves dogs in general, she’s reluctant to let us bring ours because she’s worried about liability and that it would create too many distractions. What can we do as employees to help her see that the benefits outweigh her concerns?
A: I would start by taking it slow. This isn’t about getting her to say yes. This is about trying to move in that direction incrementally, to determine if this is the right thing for this workplace.
A good, easy way to start might be to suggest that your company participate in the national Bring Your Dog to Work Day on Friday June 22, 2018.
Although the day is meant to highlight awareness of dog rescue and adoption, you and your colleagues can use it as an audition of sorts.
If it goes well maybe you can propose dogs be allowed every last Friday of the month. If that goes well maybe every Friday. That’s incremental.
Fundamentally, however you will have to address her liability and productivity concerns, which any business owner will probably have.
Is she afraid a dog may misbehave and hurt someone?
Maybe this can be mitigated by requiring dogs to attend an obedience class before they can be brought to work.
And maybe by obtaining written commitments from participating employees saying they’ll be responsible for any problems caused by their dog.
Is she afraid that dogs are a distraction?
Maybe you can point her to studies showing benefits such as improved employee morale, reduced stress, increased co-worker interaction and cooperation, so that this worry will also be mitigated.
By using a slow incremental approach and by addressing your boss’s concerns directly you and your colleagues may get to bring your dogs to work after all. If not every day, at least on Fridays.
Originally published on Eva Del Rio HR box blog.