Things are changing in the modern work office. Hours are becoming more flexible, office spaces are switching to more open plans and people are becoming more accepting of having a more blended work/life balance. With all of that change – play rooms are being built into office spaces that are decked out with games and books for our kids. We’re getting more personal days to tend to our mental health, and now, dog beds and dog bowls are being brought in to accommodate for our fur babies too.
Travel back a decade or two. Even just proposing the idea of having a dog in the workplace would have been laughable. Now, we’ve seen the research and understand the science behind the plethora of benefits that come with having our friendly pooches with us in the office.
At the Boarding Office our main office pup is Ember (featured above). For reasons that become obvious the second you lay eyes on her – she’s quite popular among the tenants. She spends her days either circling the office looking for people to play with her, or curled up at the feet of her mum Mel.
We’ve found she’s been a great addition to the office, allowing for better communication between tenants and reinforcing our casual culture. But that’s not all! We’ve made a list of other benefits that’ll hopefully encourage you to bring an office dog of your very own to work to brighten up your work days.
Many of the studies that have taken place in relation to office dogs have been centered around the effect they have on our emotional states. Stress reduction is always the leading benefit and we can see why. There’s few things more pleasant than seeing a happy pup looking up at you, or petting one to relieve stress in a tense situation. Their positivity and calming energy becomes infectious which makes them a low-cost wellness benefit too!
Office dogs are great communication energizers. Just as we’ve seen with Ember, office dogs trigger interactions and conversations that may not typically have taken place. This has meant that we’ve been able to know other employees on a more personal level. This in turn boosts morale and makes the whole environment more pleasant and inclusive for everyone.
Sometimes we’re in a position where our work load is pumping or we’re trying to stay alert to make it through your long days. Pups can help you take a mental pause and allow you to reset momentarily. As mentioned above, it’s very difficult to be angry with a pup around.
This mental pause can be anything from a quick pat, to a mid-day walk. It’s not just stress relief that they can be useful for – it’s their comical nature too. While most people fawn over Ember’s insanely cute looks in our office, they also enjoy watching her get up to cheeky antics. Whether that’s acting as our very own paper shredder or filling up on leftovers from the kitchen bin.
Culture is key to any business looking to provide a work place that people enjoy coming to. Our culture at the Boarding Office focusses on providing tenants with an environment that values the relaxed nature of the Sunshine Coast. We want out offices to be comfortable, casual and flexible. Having dogs in the office really speaks to that endeavor.
Studies have found that office dogs also lead to higher levels of job satisfaction. It’s also said to make employees feel more valued and supported by their employer. It’s appealing not just for employees – but customers too. We get customers and clients entering our office every day that tell us how great it is that we have Ember with us!
It’s worth remembering that not all dogs are exactly ‘saint like’. While you might want your pup in the workplace with you, some dogs just don’t work well in social environments. We want dogs to have a positive effect on your office environment. Having to pry two agitated dogs away from each other is not exactly conducive to a peaceful workplace.
An easy way to avoid this is by keeping a doggie database. Get employees to register their pups and schedule the days they will bring them in. This way, if you know there are two that don’t get along – you can alternate their days. Another thing to watch out for is employees that might have allergies or aversions about animals. It’s important that your environment caters to everyone – so be wary of that.
Have you got any pups at your workplace? What has been your experience? Comment below and let us know.
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