This Friday 23rd June is National Bring Your Dog to Work Day, providing the opportunity for pet lovers all over the UK to bring their canine friends to work with them. The day raises awareness for charities dedicated to making a difference to the welfare of dogs. This year the charities being supported are All Dogs Matter and Animals Asia.
Now I don’t know about you, but when I heard about the initiative, I started picturing all kinds of chaos – dogs chewing on project proposals, drooling on keyboards, play fighting during meetings and devouring the office snacks. But it turns out that the reality is far from it.
Not only are most office pets well behaved (sleeping for most of the day) – they are also a valuable asset to the office and greatly improve office wellbeing. In fact, pets in the workplace are proven to lift mood, lower stress and improve productivity.
Why do dogs bring us so much joy?
I was once (hilariously) advised by a friend: “Be the person that your dog thinks you are”. While I don’t own a dog myself, I can certainly understand why people like being around them. Dogs are always eager to show their owners love and appreciation. Their playfulness and sense of exploration encourages even the most introverted of us humans to socialise with each other. Small wonder then, that they have such a positive impact on increasing morale and productivity in the office.
Studies have shown that having dogs by your side while you work and during team meetings increases the levels of the stress-reducing hormone oxytocin and decreases the production of the opposite hormone, cortisol, which increases stress. Four-legged associates also build a stronger sense of team and encourage people to keep active and stretch their legs at work, all contributing to better employee wellbeing in the workplace.
At Nestlé offices, dogs have been welcome since 2015 as a part of their PAW (Pets at Work) scheme and employees have reported feeling less stressed and find the office atmosphere warmer and more sociable. As part of the scheme employees can bring their dogs to work, as long as they receive “Pawthorisation” from an independent specialist, and are granted a “Passpawt”. Very cute.
Here at Team JUMP we specialise in employee engagement ideas, with a particular focus on sustainable business practices. So if you think the idea of an office dog is barking mad, we’ve got plenty more ideas for you! Our workplace programmes reward employees for engaging in activities to improve their wellbeing and sustainability. Find out more information on our homepage.