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Celebrating Take Your Dog to Work Day and the benefits of dogs in the workplace.

Benefits of dog at work

Celebrated annually on 23 June, this special day encourages employees to bring their dogs to the workplace. “Beyond the fun and initial excitement, there are numerous benefits to having dogs in the office environment,” says pet behaviour expert from Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Marycke Ackhurst.

Ackhurst explains the positive impact of dogs on productivity, employee well-being, and workplace morale:

Stress reduction and increased productivity – Having dogs at work can significantly reduce stress levels among employees. Interacting with dogs has been proven to increase the production of oxytocin (the ‘feel-good’ hormone) and decrease cortisol (the stress hormone). This leads to a more relaxed and positive work environment, promoting better focus, concentration, and overall productivity. The presence of dogs can provide a natural source of stress relief during busy or challenging workdays.

Enhanced workplace morale and team bonding – Dogs have an innate ability to bring people together. Their presence in the office encourages social interactions, fosters communication, and strengthens relationships among employees. Sharing stories, playing with dogs, or taking them for walks can create a sense of camaraderie and boost morale. Employees feel more connected, resulting in better teamwork, collaboration, and a positive work culture.

Improved physical and mental health – The companionship of dogs offers several health benefits, both physical and mental. Taking short breaks to play or walk with dogs can promote physical activity and combat the sedentary nature of office work. This can lead to increased energy levels, improved cardiovascular health, and reduced risk of conditions such as obesity and heart disease. Additionally, interacting with dogs has been linked to decreased symptoms of anxiety, depression, and feelings of loneliness, creating a healthier and happier work environment.

Increased employee retention and attraction – A dog-friendly workplace can be an attractive perk for potential employees and contribute to higher employee retention rates. Allowing dogs in the office demonstrates a commitment to employee well-being, work-life balance, and a progressive work culture. It can also be particularly appealing to dog parents who find it challenging to leave their dogs at home for extended periods. A dog-friendly policy can help attract top talent and retain valued employees.

Positive brand image and client relations – Having dogs in the workplace can enhance the brand image and reputation of a company. It showcases a compassionate and inclusive company culture that values employee happiness and work-life integration. For client-facing businesses, dogs can serve as ‘ice-breakers ‘and facilitate conversations, creating a relaxed and friendly atmosphere during meetings or interactions with clients. This can foster positive client relationships and leave a lasting impression.

Despite the many positives that come with taking your dog to work, there are certain preparations that need to take place before you do so. It's crucial to ensure a safe and comfortable environment for everyone involved.

Here are a few guidelines to consider:

Check company policies – Understand any policies or restrictions regarding dogs in the workplace and obtain necessary approvals from management or human resources.

Dog-friendly zones – Designate specific areas where dogs are allowed, such as communal spaces or designated dog-friendly zones, to maintain a productive and organised work environment.

Dog etiquette – Set guidelines for responsible dog parenting, including leash policies, waste management, and vaccination requirements. Encourage dog parents to bring essentials like food, water, toys, and bedding to keep their dogs comfortable.

Allergies and fear considerations – Be mindful of colleagues who may have allergies or fears related to dogs. Establish communication channels for employees to express any concerns or request accommodations.

For more information visit the Hill’s website


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