For some of us, leaving our beloved pets behind when we leave for the office every morning is heart breaking. However, what if our furry friends could actually prove to be a beneficial addition to office life? In light of this month’s Bring Your Dog to Work Day (June 21st), here are some reasons why offices should implement pup-friendly protocol (feel free to casually slide this information under your boss’ door):
Every job comes with varying degrees of stress. Whether good or bad, how this stress is managed could potentially affect job performance, interactions with co-workers, and overall job satisfaction. Luckily, having a dog in the office has proven to be a great tool to combat that inevitable work-stress we all face. According to The Telegraph’s Pete Wedderburn, “Petting a dog has been proven to reduce stress, whether or not you own the dog. The process of patting and stroking a dog reduces the blood pressure, changes your physiological state into a more relaxed mode, and makes you feel better.” This increase in relaxation and overall mood-improvement may result in a better office experience. The simple act of petting a dog has the power to change the dynamic of the office for the better.
In some offices, it is easy to hide away at your desk, put your headphones in and disregard your co-workers for the vast majority of your work day. As a result, this isolation can impede company unity and collaboration across departments. Luckily, dogs tend to serve as excellent ice-breakers. Dogs are social creatures, so they could essentially become the glue that brings everyone in the office together. For TIME’s article “Why Bringing Your Dog to Work Can Be Great For (Almost) Everyone,” Amazon’s Anna Jentoft addresses how having dogs in the office increases collaboration. Jentoft states, “You really wouldn’t have had the idea to work together, but because you struck up a conversation about the dog, you discover an opportunity that produces some synergy that wouldn’t have otherwise existed.” With this being said, bringing dogs into the office would be a great opportunity to collaborate with the people around you. In addition, coming together as a team can surely boost office-morale and make for a more friendly work-place experience.
After sitting for several hours at a time, it is important to get up and stretch your legs. What better way to spend some time away from the cubicle than to take your dog on a quick walk? The Telegraph’s Pete Wedderburn mentions, “Employees with their dogs at work are likely to get out and about at coffee breaks: the physical exercise will help with their state of mind and productivity for the rest of the day.” If the dog-owners of the office opt to take a quick break with their pup, co-workers may be encouraged to tag along, further strengthening office bonds and providing a way to shake off the typical office stressors.
Apart from the numerous benefits that humans receive in bringing dogs to the office, the dogs themselves also profit from the arrangement in their own way. First off, dogs that come to the office with their owners will get to spend their day surrounded by people and other dogs, rather than at home alone. Pete Wedderburn mentions that “Dogs that are used to being out and about with their owners tend to be more relaxed, better socialized, and easier to be around than dogs that are left isolated on their own.” Allowing dogs to interact daily with others around the office could do wonders for their mental and physical health as well as general behaviors. Wedderburn goes on to point out that a dog exposed to more pleasant experiences will, in-turn, become pleasant to be around themselves. The more you bring your dog with you to the office, or on your daily outings in general, the better they will become with new people and other dogs alike. Over time, they may even be able to secure the renowned position of office mascot.
Encouraging employees to bring their dogs to the office is a wonderful idea, although it is not a new one. Fortune’s article on “10 Pet-Friendly Companies Where It’s Always Take Your Dog to Work Day” mentions many big company names that have taken advantage of office-dog benefits including Amazon, Bissell, Google, Ticketmaster, and PetSmart Corporate (of course). The culture within these successful companies is evident of their best office practices, including providing a pet-friendly environment. With this being said, it is reassuring to know that even some of the most successful companies in the world recognize the benefits of having dogs in the workplace.
From stress reduction to increased workplace engagement, it is clear that there are many notable benefits to having dogs at the workplace. Although this is true, it is important to ensure safe and regulated office environments. For example, it is important to make sure the office stays clean, aggressive dogs stay at home, and office dogs stay up-to-date on their shots. In addition, it may be beneficial to dedicate official “no-dog zones” for those who may be allergic or aren’t particularly fond of dogs or pets in general.
At OptimumHQ we take pride in embracing a dog-friendly office. Although we typically don’t have dogs trotting around the office every single day, we consider our pets a part of the OptimumHQ family and recognize the aforementioned benefits they bring to work with them. Our proclaimed office mascot, Cooper the pug, always succeeds in putting a smile on our faces along with our other furry friends that frequent our desks. Our office door is always open for dogs, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.