A look at why office dogs can be a great addition to the workplace.
In light of Quorum’s Chief Barketing Officer taking a brief hiatus from The Hub while I go on maternity leave, I thought it was about time we did a piece promoting the benefits of having an office dog and explaining why we made the decision to make The Neon Building dog friendly.
No really, I see why you are sceptical, but it’s actually been proven that having a dog in the office can improve productivity in a number of ways.
An office dog improves moral in an office space, and a happy workforce are a more productive workforce, but it also helps encourage staff to take breaks – which is a known way to improve productivity; be it a lunch time walk or a five minute fresh air breather, there is no doubt that everyone can use an office dog to help with their work-life balance.
Less Stress – and a happier workplace
A recent study from the Virginia Commonwealth University found that employees who brought their dogs to work experienced lower stress levels throughout the work day, reported higher levels of job satisfaction, and had a more positive perception of their employer.
From a personal perceptive, my job satisfaction has soared since Chaplin’s arrival; quite simply, without being allowed to have a dog in the office I wouldn’t be able to have a dog! So my workplace provides something that enhances my home life too.
It’s also great for introducing new members of the team; imagine most people’s delight at attending their first day at work and finding out there’s an office pooch? As new Neon tenants move into the building, we see first-hand the excitement his presence brings.
Branding and Status.
Trust me, while I can’t guarantee that every single potential employee will love an office dog, I can confirm from first-hand experience that its almost universally met with, ‘I wish I could bring my dog in the office’. Just the other day, an executive from one of our most high profile tenants said hello to Chaplin before he said hello to me! I’m going to bet that 95% of people who have come into the office on Chaplin days have responded positively – and the other 5% were cat people 😉
In terms of branding its eye catching, creates a personal touch and is the ultimate ice breaker. Looking for behind the scenes content for Insta stories? Or a way to brighten up your website homepage? I promise an office dog will always get a conversation started and lighten the mood.
So, have I won you over? Read below for some tips on how to make the most of having an office dog and make it work for your office space.
The right fit.
It goes without saying, not every office is suitable for a dog and, let’s face it, not every dog is suitable to be in an office.
Here at The Hub, we’re a small team who aren’t tied to the phone. What works here probably wouldn’t work in a bustling call centre day-to-day. That’s not to say it’s unheard of. Pets at Home, Domestic and General and Serco being three companies that allow dogs in their call centres.
It’s important to remember that regardless of how well behaved our four legged friends are, you have to be in an environment where, if they were to suddenly bark in the background, it’s not going to be an issue.
Have their own space.
It’s important to have a dedicated space for the dog in the office. It creates boundaries, makes them feel settled and, frankly, gets them out of the way!
Chaplin spends 90% of his time in the office on his cushion. I can confirm first-hand he is 10 times better behaved here in the office on his cushion, than when I try and take him anywhere else in the office. Dogs thrive on routine and familiarity.
Chaplin is a good boy, but he’s still a dog – prone to mischief if he’s bored (memorably eating my entire flip flop in a meeting so I had to go home in the receptionist’s trainers), in need of exercise and prone to anxiety at sudden changes. Not only do you have to be prepared for this, you also have to be prepared for sudden changes to your working day that might crop up. If you have an unexpected meeting that runs over, can you still get the dog out at lunchtime, you might pay the price in the afternoon if you don’t!
Dog Friendly Building
Since Chaplin’s arrival in December, we have gradually made The Neon Building dog friendly and its proved a fantastic marketing tool – most of our four legged visitors are only stopping by occasionally, but what a fantastic perk to have if you need doggy day-care when usual arrangements change.
So in the last six months, Neon has been home to Tara, Dennis, Peggy, Darrach and Loki, as well as the OG Chaplin. Feedback from tenants has been a resounding yes!
Mark Buckland from Contec occasionally brings his lhasa apso, Dennis, into the office. “I don’t bring Dennis into the office every day, but sometimes if things happening at home and I need dog care provisions, it’s just so handy to be able to bring him here. The rest of the team love it and it saves me time, money and stress. Plus Dennis loves all the attention from the ladies next door.”
Chaplin was rehomed from local shelter, Benton Dog and Cat Shelter.
Check out some of the dogs currently looking for forever homes here: https://www.dogandcatshelter.com/our-dogs/
Thanks to photographer David Wood for the epic dog in the office pics.