Take your dog to the office and stress less? That’s right! For years there has been a steady increase in the amount of companies and especially tech start-ups that pursue dog friendly office spaces. More and more, dog friendly policies are becoming the norm in many workplaces.
A few weeks ago while I was taking a few minutes for an early morning perusal for all new and trendy ‘dog things’, I came across an article on the Wall St. Journal about ‘Pet Friendly Offices’ which caught my attention. The article highlighted that office environments that have traditionally been dog-friendly are extending their casual and stress-free culture to allow exotic companions.
For example, at the Amazon.com Inc. headquarters, one of the staff has recently been bringing Java, his brown-and-green python—named after the computer programming language and the coffee container he came in—to work in a bright green Amazon Fresh bag, the same kind used in the company’s grocery delivery service. Others have been bringing in parakeets and pigs to add to the relaxed (or so it is supposed to be) environment.[pullquote]“It creates a happy work environment when there aren’t so many sort of stringent rules and people can be a little out of the box and bring caterpillars to work,” Jessica Dillman[/pullquote]
Sandra Barker, a researcher at Virginia Commonwealth University, found that having dogs at the office reduces employee stress and increases job satisfaction. I think I have taken this for granted as I have become well acquainted with having the luxury of a furry office mate by my side.
For those of us that are able to take our dog companions to work, there are a number of tips to keep in mind for our dog’s safety and to ensure we get to continue with the privilege.
- SAFETY FIRST Ensure that your personal office allows your dog to feel safe and not territorial
- EXERCISE Schedule time in your day while at the office for dog walks. The exercise is good for your dog and allows the endorphins to flow and then relax.
- A HEALTHY DOG Ensure your dog is healthy and up to date on vaccinations
- CREATE A STIMULUS ENVIRONMENT To break long periods of down time, be sure to have something for your pup to do whether it is chew on a toy or even play with a mind puzzle for mental stimulation
- NOT EVERYONE LOVES DOGS Remember that not all of your team members are dog people and be sure to respect others space
Recently Release the Hounds has been engaging with more and more companies to help and assist them grow their ‘wellness’ program as it relates to offering dog care services and where needed advice on how to allow a dog friendly office.
If you have not already and depending on where you work and your pup, do not hesitate to explore options of brining your dog to the office and stress less! Many have found it can actually reduce stress and have a calming effect thus increasing their productivity.