Dogs at the Workplace: A Multiple Case Study
Nova School of Business and Economics, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, 1099-085 Lisboa, Portugal
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 November 2020
Revised: 16 November 2020
Accepted: 29 December 2020
Published: 5 January 2021
Pet-friendly policies are becoming more common in the workplace, but little is known about how the presence of dogs influences the work environment. For this reason, the paper includes a study on how dogs influence the work environment and under which circumstances companies can benefit from a pet-friendly policy. An inductive research approach was used for this study. Qualitative data were conducted by interviewing dog-owners who routinely bring their dogs to the office and persons in management positions in the same companies. Finally, the results of the evolving data analysis through successive iterations was formed into a grounded theory. The results of the study generally support the belief that dogs at the workplace can have a positive influence on individual and collective well-being of organizational members in an office environment. However, the study shows that these positive effects of dogs are linked to certain prerequisites that need to be fulfilled in the company. These include flexible hours, autonomy, and open communication. While those requisites are not necessary in order to be able to implement pet-friendly policies, they are highly relevant when companies seek to decrease stress for employees and improve the work atmosphere and social capital.