Sad but true: there are plenty of moments in my working day when either my concentration is shot, my eyes are screen-sore or, more drastically, I feel as though I need to re-boot my brain. It’s at times like these that having a highly-huggable, ever-playful dog in the office makes an awful lot of sense. When I push back my chair, Teddy’s eyebrows twitch in a state of high alert: he’s ready for a feisty tug of war, a brief chat, a therapeutic cuddle, whatever – it’s win-win for both of us. He achieves his forever goal (more attention) and I switch off my work head, have a moment or two of soft fluffy interaction and feel all the better for it.
Today, Friday 23rd June, is the fourth annual UK #BringYourDogToWorkDay. It’s organised by ethical pet care product company HOWND, who are encouraging businesses to welcome their employee’s four-legged friends into the workplace and raise money for the excellent charities All Dogs Matter and Animals Asia at the same time. (There are some fun ways to donate online, including a Dog With a Job Hall of Fame – for more information, CLICK HERE)
While it makes sense to put some rules in place if this one-off event becomes your business’s norm (I wrote a blog about this a while back: Friday Find: Bring My Dog To Work), there’s plenty of evidence to suggest having well-behaved pets in the office is a good idea. The International Journal of Workplace Health Management found that dogs lessen the impact of stress for their owners and make the job more satisfying for everyone they come into contact with. Day to day stress level scores fell by 11% among workers who had brought their dogs to work, while they increased 70% for those who did not. Wow!
I get it: there are so many benefits. You won’t got to work and feel the guilt of leaving your four-legged friend home alone. Lunch time walkies are a good way to clear the head and a dog sitting in the office makes people – fellow workers and visitors – smile. I’ve never met someone who didn’t love the idea of Teddy sitting in on a meeting. You might have to think about the toys you bring with you (trying to extricate a squeaker from a dog mid-chew during a conference call is not ideal) but otherwise, what’s to lose?