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Should animals be allowed in the office?

The Democratic Argument

Let’s be clear, the dog in the office exists, but it has always been the prerogative of the boss. Nemo, the Macron dog, can relieve himself during a meeting at the Elysée, the German shepherds of the Biden drag themselves on the carpet of the Oval office, no one comes to ask if it’s all hygienic. On the other hand, when it’s Josie from accounting who takes her family, things go less well. Allowing animals for all is therefore democratic progress, the extension of a privilege from the top to the rest of the company.

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The well-being argument

A 2017 study claims that the presence of an animal leads to “23% reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease”. Another, published in 2012 and carried out with dog owners who take them to the office and others who leave them at home, indicated that the former had a lower level of stress than the latter. The dog contributes to the good atmosphere and, moreover, “getting oatmeal from your boss when your dog is snoring on the seat next door, it goes better”assures a concerned.

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The pro-efficiency argument

The dog in the office is the new football table. The proof, in tech, Amazon prides itself on welcoming 7,000 on its campus and Google has opened a Yoshka Café, a tribute to the group’s first dog, who died in 2011. For these companies, it is a question of facilitating interactions and cooperation. Moreover, groups of dooglers (“parents” of dog at Google) stayed in touch during the confinement. Now, allowing dogs to work would bring teleworkers back to face-to-face.

The Democratic Counter-Argument

Extending this benefit to everyone is administratively impossible. A dog at work is fine in certain professions – shepherd, for example – but who would want to be operated on by a neurosurgeon who would take his dog to the operating room? And will it be necessary to provide canteens for dogs? And how do you define an acceptable pet? A rabbit ? A panda ? Moreover, since the manager’s dog serves him above all to distinguish himself, if everyone starts to have one, isn’t the boss likely to be tempted to come to the office with a pony?

The well-being anti-argument

Studies would do better to compare the stress levels of dog owners who take them to the office to that of their office neighbors. Besides, if dog owners are happier at work with Rex by their side, who says Rex is happier watching PowerPoints sitting on the carpet in the meeting room than frolicking in the garden? If we asked his opinion, the dog might not want to hit traffic jams or the metro at rush hour… Well, we didn’t get rid of the smell of ashtrays in the office to get the one wet dog.

The pro-effectiveness counter-argument

Admittedly, Google has a huge campus and Amazon has transformed the roof of a building into a dog park, but do dogs also facilitate interactions in Haussmannian offices or the towers of La Défense? As for interactions, does throwing a ball at Poupi really boost productivity? In Japan, Fujitsu, which is testing a “office for dogs” experimental since July, has installed the owners separately, with room for only six dogs: does the communication favored here not only concern
dogs and their friends?

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