Beware: Dog at work

 

This Friday 21 June is Bring Your Dog to Work Day, a time to celebrate our four-legged friends and reflect on the benefits they bring to the workplace.

 

What is Bring Your Dog to Work Day?

Established in 2014, Bring Your Dog To Work Day is an annual UK-wide event that raises money for charities dedicated to making a difference to the welfare of dogs. This year’s event is organised by HOWND® and all proceeds will go to UK dog rescue charity All Dogs Matter and international charity Animals Asia.

Security officer

Can you take your dog to work?

It’s not a given that you can take your dog to work. Some workplaces just aren’t suitable for dogs and others, well the boss might not welcome your best friend.

Also, it’s important to consider how your work colleagues feel about the subject. Believe it or not, not everyone is a dog lover. Some people may be afraid of dogs or even allergic to them.

So, remember to check all bases before you make any promises about taking Fido into workies, something which Nestlé have nailed. They allow employees to bring their dogs to their UK office, but only after completing a three-step questionnaire known as the “pawthorisation” process.

Sleeping on the job

Benefits of dogs at work

As an independent internal communications consultant, I’ve created a work environment that suits me and my lifestyle. I have a garden office where Trixie, a nine-year old Westie, and I spend our days when I’m working at home.

Trix made a big difference to my life from day one. Working at home and living alone, I sometimes didn’t have reason to leave the house, especially on cold, damp, winter days. My thinking was, by getting a dog I’d have to go out a couple of times a day and get some exercise, whether I liked it or not. It was a tough adjustment at first (puppies are seriously demanding!), but I cannot imagine life without Trixie. Every day she lets me know when it’s time to stop working and forces me to take a break. And she makes me laugh, a lot.

Always happy to share lunch

The benefits of having dogs in the workplace are well-documented, such as in this article in Time magazine about dog-friendly employer Amazon at their Seattle headquarters.

Petplan, the pet insurance people, are also big supporters of having dogs in the workplace, summarising the benefits as:

  • Decreasing stress
  • Increased communication between the team and departments
  • Happier employees and culture
Giving something back

Dogs are natural givers. They want very little in return. A treat, cuddle or a bit of ball play and they’re happy as Larry…or Trixie!

In recent weeks, I’ve laughed with clients at their dogs snoring during Skype calls, joined a global Yammer pets group and read sad stories about office dogs who have gone to the big kennel in the sky. So personally, dogs at work totally gets my vote.

Still not convinced? Read this article from The Telegraph giving 10 reasons why Bring Your Dog to Work Day should be embraced.

Better still, search #bringyourdog2workday for some fab photos of our furry friends.

As I write this blog, I’ve just finished a Skype call with a very senior client (let’s call her ‘Client P’) based in the US, and Trixie decided to bark the whole way through the call. She was chasing Wood Pigeons. Headset on, I struggled to shut the door on the barking without disconnecting. Not easy as I’ve strained my back and am a bit stiff , plus the headset lead was not that long! Trix had been silent all day up to this point… Client P, another dog lover, also working virtually from home, was very forgiving and obviously has better behaved dogs than mine.

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