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Do office dogs boost moral and decrease stress?
Thu 20 June 2019 - 2:02 pmEditor's Choice | Featured | HR | Industry HR | Management | Managing | Managing | Small Business
Byline: Thomas Derricott, Community Manager, Mad Paws
This Friday, June 21, marks Take Your Dog To Work Day (TYDTWD), and to celebrate, Australia’s largest pet sitting community, Mad Paws, is filling its Pyrmont office with more dogs than people. This is to illustrate how beneficial having office dogs can be, but granted, it can be much quieter when there are only one or two around.
Besides imbuing a cuteness factor to any office, having dogs at work can be a beneficial addition to what could be a stale and stressful environment. Dogs are a great way of nurturing rapport between team members, providing relief in stressful situations, and raising overall morale.
In recent years, we have noticed a significant rise in the number of offices offering pet-friendly workplaces. We are obviously supportive of that – however, it’s important to have certain safeguards in place. For this to be beneficial and positive for your co-workers, everyone needs to feel comfortable with the agreement. Firstly, conduct a quick check around the office to make sure there are no allergies or phobias – if there are, then sadly office dogs are a no-go!
If there are no scared or allergic employees, you can begin your trial of office dogs. Of course, as much as it’s important to ensure that the humans in the office are onboard with your decision to bring in a canine, it’s equally important to make sure that your dog is prepared to spend time in this new environment. Well-behaved, house-trained dogs that aren’t too vocal are ideal as office dogs. To be certain, we would suggest bringing your dog to visit the workplace for a few hours first. By doing so, you can ensure your dog and your staff feel comfortable with the new dynamic.
These days, many people brandish office dogs as a new fad or a trendy way of working for millennials.
However, more and more businesses are seeing the pay-off when it comes to building workplaces with flexible office hours, remote working, and improved culture. These types of initiatives help boost morale, productivity, and loyalty. What builds loyalty more than a dog?! Even in a corporate workspace, we’d encourage workers to try this for the day if their boss approves.
No matter your age or your Chic Factor, dogs help staff bond with each other. When senior staff bring in their beloved family dogs it helps open conversations between the generations and between senior and junior staff. Employees on different teams that may have otherwise never spoken have become closer with each other, creating an overall more positive work environment. It is a great equaliser, and provided it’s well-behaved, there is no networking tool as powerful as a dog!
We’ve personally seen the benefits of dogs on individual employees’ moods and overall morale in the office. One employee has even commented on how much better she is at managing her most stressful days when there is a dog present, much like an emotional-support dog. They can provide a calming presence and are a natural stress reliever.
If you work in an environment which poses any danger, or if others are threatened by the presence of your pooch, please do not sneak your pet in. Also, be mindful that a dog requires constant care, so don’t forget a water bowl, poo bags, and a leash for constant walks during the day.