Allowing staff to bring their dogs to work can be a huge competitive advantage for employers, so much so that most dog owners would work longer or even take a pay cut if they could share the office with their pets.
Two-thirds of dog owners would work longer hours and a third would take a pay cut if they could bring their pet to the office, according to a survey carried out by website Dogster.com and Simply Hired, an U.S. jobs website.
What's more, almost half of the 150 owners surveyed said they would change jobs so that they could take their dog to work and seven out of 10 viewed having a canine-friendly workplace an significant employee benefit.
To help them do this, SimplyHired.com now has a dog-friendly filter to help people find jobs at dog-friendly firms.
"Most companies don't really advertise the fact that they're dog-friendly. The only way you find out is through a dog park or the dog vine, so to speak," said SimplyHired's Kay Luo.
And with the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association estimating that 44 million households in the U.S. alone have a dog, changing workplace attitudes towards man's best friend could represent a real advantage for recruitment and retention initiatives.
"Companies with dog-friendly policies just get it," said Ted Rheingold, CEO of Dogster. "They're breeding a class of happy and loyal employees. After all, who wouldn't be happy working with their best friend?"
Dogs help lower stress levels and build camaraderie among workers, Rheingold argued.
"I'd rather have a 10-minute doggie 'potty break' than a 10-minute smoking break any day," said one respondent to the survey.
According to Dogster, companies that welcome dogs tend to be tech giants such as Apple, Amazon, Autodesk and Google. But in general, small firms with fewer than 50 employees emerged as the most pet-friendly, with California having the lion's share of such companies.
Roger Mugford, who heads the Animal Behaviour Centre in the UK, said earlier this year that the long-hours culture was damaging the mental health of dogs as well as people.
"More women are going out to work, more people are living alone and the demands of work seem to have increased on everyone. The result is that dogs are being left locked at home for long periods and they can find it very traumatic," he said.
"I estimate that nine out of 10 dogs I treat do not have enough contact with people."
Holly and Bramble, Management-Issues' resident canine assistants, voiced their strong approval for dog-friendly workplaces, but reminded humans in similar situations not to leave their lunch on their desks unattended.