Working at Carbon Pixel, I am allowed to bring my beloved pooch to work with me at our office in Cornwall. The well trained (or lazy) whippet lies in her bed chomping on her treats and sleeping away most of the day.
A long pointy face of contentment is what I see when I look down to check on her, but is Dottie the dog bringing more to the office, than she or I know?
A Guardian article discussed this very point. Whilst I won’t be using Dottie to negotiate deals on Skype as one company appears to in the article, I can definitely see the benefits of her presence. Personally, I get lots more exercise, I walk her to work, at lunch and walk her home. I don’t have to worry about her home alone and that little face always cheers me up. As for the others, are they just covered in dog hair and busy avoiding dog toys or can they feel the benefits?
I’ve seen our Technical Director, frustrated or stuck on a problem, walk away from his desk spend 5 minutes petting Dottie or take her for a 10-minute stroll and come back calmer and full of ideas. I’ve seen our Lead Designer take a break to stroke and engage with her and return to his desk relaxed and brimming with creativity.
A study from 2012 showed that bringing a pet dog to work reduces stress and more than likely contributed to employee performance and satisfaction as well as boosting morale and productivity. So, is there a downside? Sometimes things can get a bit stinky - not often, I might add. She does need to be watched so she doesn’t pop to the kitchen and make herself some lunch from the bin, but generally things are good.
Common sense has to be applied - when we get bigger and everyone wants to bring their dogs, we may have to take turns or find other solutions. After all it is a place of business not a dog creche - though an appealing spin off Carbon Pixel Doggy Daycare may be worth discussing! I’m not sure the madness in this video would be tolerated everyday.
Our staff handbook has been updated with a policy for dogs in the workplace and we’ve updated our relevant insurances; if we have an employee with an allergy or a phobia, we would need to make alternative arrangements - but at the moment it's working for us so I would encourage you to give it a try.
Friday 23rd June 2017 is the next UK Bring Your Dog to Work Day. A charitable event to raise awareness and funds for rescue and rehoming dogs, participation and interest from the national media is growing every year. Although only established in the UK in the last few years, this day has been well established in the USA since 1999.
Ask your boss or see if your employees are interested, do something for charity and see how it goes, it's a growing trend. In fact, as I type there is a chocolate labrador in the office downstairs and a collie in the building next door - of course they could all be colluding to take over the world, one business at a time, but only time will tell.
If you’re a dog lover, like me here’s a couple more links below of dogs in offices which I thought I’d share!