Meet Kora – an Australian labradoodle. Ok, she somehow didn’t inherit the curly gene but we love her no matter what!
Also, a frequent visitor is Duke – a Rhodesian Ridgeback. He’s enormous (think Great Dane big) and a big softy at heart.
Do we love it when they are here – we think so!
Did you know Friday, June 25th is Pet Sitters International (PSI) take your dog to work day! Now, this may not be practical for everyone but let’s take a quick look at the benefits of a dog-friendly workplace.
1. Reduce stress levels
There’s lots of evidence to suggest that having a dog around in the workplace can make for a better and more stress-free zone. They are clever and intuitive and know who to go to for a nuzzle or stroke. On the serious side, it’s even been suggested that having a dog close by is even more effective in lowering ones stress levels and associated symptoms such as high blood pressure than other forms of medication.
2. Boost your productivity levels and morale
Not only do dogs wag their tails when they see you and make you laugh in other ways such as chasing their tail or just going a bit bonkers for a few seconds resulting in lightening the mood at work; a dog also needs a break (to prevent any unfortunate mishaps on the carpet!) and while taking Monty out for a break you get one too. It’s a well-trodden study topic that surmises regular breaks are good for you. They help you clear your head, freshen and sharpen up your mind ready for the next job or task to tackle. So, not only do you feel like you’re getting some steps in away from your desk, it’s also good for your productivity! They’re also a great ice breaker so if you’ve always struggled to talk to that person in your office – now’s your chance.
3. Improve communication
Share the love. What we mean here is if you have to dash to a meeting you can share the responsibility of dog sitting for a short while. This sharing requires better communication and encourages conversations and team building. Better team interaction leads to higher productivity. So you see where it all leads: openness, deeper conversations and relations with your co-workers and a more cohesive environment.
4. Attract and keep employees
The more policies you have in situ that produce a happy, relaxed working environment the more likely people are going to want to stick around. Dogs help create a relaxed atmosphere and seeing a furry workmate walking around is welcoming. The less stressed a person is while working, the less likely they are going to want to leave. So dogs reduce stress – you do the math!
5. Socialise dogs too
Dogs love people and mixing them with all sorts of human characters is great for socialising dogs to become well-behaved. It’s also so much better for them rather than being cooped up at home or left in doggy daycare. I’ve yet to meet a dog at work that doesn’t get spoiled with heaps of attention! Much better for young pups also.
Now, of course, not everyone is a canine fan and that needs to be taken into serious consideration. Some of us are a little scared or dogs or simply don’t take to them. Others may be allergic to dog hair so which breeds to allow in may be important too. Then there are the health and safety aspects of allowing a dog to roam around – both for the animal but most importantly for the staff. All these considerations should be factored into a pet policy at work. SO to ensure that you create a robust policy consider the following:
- Well trained dogs only. They may need to pass some kind of test so maybe even consider dogs trained as Therapy Dogs. Pets as Therapy is a good place to start investigating
- Make sure you have enough dog-free zones for those people who don’t like dogs or are allergic
- Consider any hazards that could be troublesome when allowing pets in the workplace. You don’t want someone tripping over a lying dog or a young pup chewing through a cable, injuring itself while taking down your entire network…
For all things about our 4 legged best friend, a good read is Dogs’ Miscellany by J.A. Wines – it’s packed with lots of amazing fun facts about our canine buddies.