Thousands of us want to bring our dog to work but many managers are still against it for a variety of reasons.
Maybe they think it would be distracting, or the dog might make a mess, or the saddest reason – they’re stuck in the old-fashioned way of doing things. Many bosses are worried about making what they perceive to be a big, risky change. So why should companies join the thousands of others throughout Europe and allow us this perk?
Before you convince your boss to start a ‘bring your dog to work’ scheme, you’re going to need to know the answers to the question “What are the benefits of bringing your dog to work?”
Having Dogs Around Is Proven to Improve Your Health
Aside from the enjoyment we all get from having dogs around what are the other benefits to having a dog around?
Reduces workplace stress
Did you know studies have proven that petting a dog helps to reduce stress? According to psychologist Stephen Colarelli of Central Michigan University, dogs help reduce stress, heart rate and blood pressure. They also help people feel less lonely, make people appear more approachable AND the presence of a dog increases cooperation and other positive behaviours in work groups.
Increased job satisfaction
Have you ever had a rubbish day and come home to see your four-legged friend and they immediately cheer you up? Now imagine being able to get this boost at work! Sitting at your desk or coming out of a dull meeting and they are there wagging their tail so happy to see you! Instant happiness and reduced stress!
Great for morale which is great for mental & physical health
You may have noticed that in recent years people are focusing on a better work-life balance. Companies whose only interest is the profit and don’t care about their employees well being are constantly having employee come and go. This inevitably makes them limited in the talent they will attract and success they can attain.
This initiative can be implemented at no cost and can have a great effect on the health and happiness of your employees without sacrificing productivity, so why wouldn’t you do it? A happy team is a productive team so employers benefit greatly.
Make your workplace more fun with a dog
Everything is more fun with a dog, and that’s a fact. Let’s look at what happens on a usual walk to work. Uneventful, boring. Walking to work with your dog? Cool! Having a brainstorming session to come up with new ideas? Usually boring. Brainstorming session playing hot tomato with a ball for the dog to chase? Fun!
Dogs are usually doing something funny or cute even if they’re just sitting watching you, sleeping or tilting their head adorably at the noise the water filter makes. It gets people talking, laughing and smiling, if you don’t think this could benefit your workplace then you probably work in a library.
Want an easy way to get to know your colleagues better?
Lunchtimes at the office can be dull, everyone sits at the table to eat their sandwich, discuss the fact they can’t wait to get home.
Bring a dog to the office and there is a whole new world of possibilities! You and your dog-friendly colleagues can head to the park together for half an hour. You can have a great time and bond over the love of your four-legged friend! Everyone gets back to work happy and energized, boosted to keep going for the rest of the day! That’s a clear benefit to even to even the most rigid of manager’s right?
What are the benefits of bringing your dog to work FOR COMPANIES?
For the companies asking “What are the benefits of bringing your dog to work”, here are some pointers.
Want an easy, inexpensive way to boost your company’s social media?
A more modern take on the question: “What are the benefits of bringing your dog to work?” Company’s are always trying to think of ways to get more likes and shares and pay thousands upon thousands for new and creative ideas.
Oh your company moved to a new office and you’ve made a video? Or you’ve got a new vacancy with a bang average salary and a Ping-Pong table? Ok… sounds like every other company. So…what do people LOVE that we can use to our advantage…?
As the great Michael Scott once said, K.I.S.S!
Keep It Simple Stupid
People love dogs, with a dog you’ll get all the social interaction your desperate for.
Food giant Nestlé says that having a dog around is AMAZING for PR and the atmosphere in the office is warmer and more sociable since they started bringing furry friends to the office.
Attract and retain talented employees
It can show consideration on the part of management to help make the workplace an even better place for employees. It never goes unnoticed, since people go where they feel valued. Maybe you are a start-up or just simply don’t have the resources to compete with larger companies in terms of salaries? ‘A Bring Your Dog To Work’ initiative could help you attract and retain talented employees.
Another perk for dog owners is that we don’t have to pay for someone to come round to walk our dog. Even more importantly, we don’t have to worry about our dog being bored home alone.
Simple, take advantage of this.
Want to improve team cooperation?
Having a dog around has been proven to promote team cohesion and this has been proven time and again.
Something To Consider: Bring Your Dog To Work Etiquette
We mustn’t forget that not everyone loves dogs and whatever the reason you must respect each other’s opinion if you don’t agree. If someone is afraid of dogs and you work in a small office then maybe this isn’t the place for you. If there is space to accommodate you both then you have to make the effort to keep your dog away from the person. The main reason to allow people to bring dogs to the office is to make work more enjoyable and productive for everyone, but if you don’t consider your colleagues then it will cause more harm than good.
It’s obvious your dog has to be house trained right? I don’t even need to mention that right?
Something interesting that one of my friends loves to mention is that my dog Bella is a huge German Shepherd. Whilst she’s got a nicer personality than 99% of people and a cuter face, some people are scared when they see her. But Bella has helped countless people overcome their fear of dogs. Of course I’ll include a picture of her.
A few quick points on other things to remember when bringing your dog to work:
- Bring a bed or cushion to act as somewhere your dog can go for quiet time/to feel safe
- Make sure your dog is well behaved as you are responsible for your dog
- You must supervise them at all times. Many people will be eager to look after your pooch if you have a meeting to attend but they must be responsible and someone you trust. Remember – ultimately, you are responsible for your dog.
- Before work, at lunchtime and after work. Your dog will be more relaxed and well behaved if they are happy and have done some exercise. Boredom is often the cause of bad behaviour so take this easy step to avoid problems
- Bring a puzzle toy like a kong or a chew toy to give them something to do while you’re working (just not a squeaky toy)!
- Clean up after your dog (any hair or drinking water that spills out of the bowl). If you leave a mess then the bring your dog to work policy won’t last long…
- Make the most of it! Enjoy this extra time with your pooch and get to know your colleagues!
- Ensure your little buddy has plenty of water to drink throughout the day.
Examples of dog-friendly companies
As we’ve already mentioned, Nestlé has a dog-friendly culture and you may be aware of other great companies that do this such as Google, Amazon, Ben & Jerry’s, Build-A-Bear, Etsy, Hubspot, Mars, Zynga and DogBuddy.
Can I ask for a quick favour if you’ve got a moment – comment to help me convince my boss to let me bring Bella to work and share this with other people who want to do the same so we can make a positive change for us and our dogs! Cheers!
Today’s Author: Lee Walton came to Barcelona from Liverpool with his German Shepherd, Bella, almost 2 years ago. He currently writes for Europe Language Jobs for all things to do with travel and work!
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