Work Can be ‘Ruff’ — Make it Better With Dogs.

February 3, 2020

The worst part of any morning is leaving our four-legged, furry children behind — right? We worry about what they do all day whilst we’re gone; whether or not they’re worried we aren’t coming back; if they’re hungry; or if they’ve made a complete mess of the house. We simply cannot wait to get home and see our dog after a long day at work.

But what if your dog was welcome at work? As great as that sounds for your pup, public health experts say it’s even better for you. According to a May 2017 study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, bringing your dog into work can provide that level of social support that we as humans often need and crave, which ultimately translates into lower levels of depression and increased job performance. What’s more, dogs are instant mood-boosters, and can brighten even the most stressful of days.

This ‘bring your dog into work’ phenomenon is taking the modern-day workplace by storm. Industry giants such as Amazon have adopted a pet-friendly policy for a number of years now, and their employees are loving it. As one employee notes, having her dog Franny in the office ‘brings [her] comfort’ and means she can ‘take a breather after an intense meeting’. Indeed, sometimes you just need a break, to walk away and turn off the ‘work’ for a few minutes. Being able to take a few minutes to play with your dog, or take them on a walk and get some fresh air, can be just the reset you need in the middle of a stressful work day.

However, dogs not only have a positive effect on ourselves as dog owners but also our co-workers. According to a study conducted by the University of California, Dogs can foster an environment of camaraderie in the workplace and increase collaboration between co-workers. Quite naturally, we are drawn to stopping by to say hi to our colleagues four-legged friend, meanwhile giving each other the chance to discuss ideas and problem solve with a fresh voice. In other words, dogs “trigger interactions that may not have happened without them”.

So, what’s in it for the employers? Well, apart from the obvious fact that happy employees work far more effectively than otherwise, employers who introduce dogs into their workplace can reap the rewards of worker loyalty, satisfaction and retention. It makes working for your company extremely appealing, especially to a younger generation and can help generate a
positive image for your workplace in the public eye. In an age where competition for the elite is becoming more and more intense, company culture is the key to attracting and retaining this same talent for your business. What better way to shape your company culture than through the introduction of man’s best friend into the office?

Of course, policies must be in place to ensure the health and safety of all employees, employers, and the dogs themselves. At Trakstar, dog owners are responsible for their dogs all the time whilst at work. This includes their behaviour and toilet break needs. The dogs must be at least a year old, up to date on vaccinations, de-sexed and flea/tick free. Having well-written,
clear policies is key to making a dog-friendly workplace work.

Allowing dogs in the workplace is great for everyone involved. Pets help create comfortable, flexible, stress-free environments. Having a crew of happy, content employees not only makes their days at work more pleasant, but also opens the door for collaboration and problem solving between co-workers. With the right policies in place, letting employees bring their dogs
into work could be one of the most simple, yet effective business decisions a company makes.

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