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Posted August 14 2017

Dogs At Work – Barking Mad or a Bone-afide Success for Productivity?

Of course, there are pros and cons of bringing a pet to work. Here at Cornerstone, we are very much pro bringing your fourlegged friends into the office.

It is a common understanding that dogs are great therapy; they are increasingly being brought into hospitals and care-homes to increase levels of happiness and joy amongst patients and residents. One recent study even found that children who had their dog with them during a public speaking exercise, presented lower levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) than when accompanied by a parent or if left alone.

Dogs in the workplace have replaced cake in the sense that where offices used to flock around someone who brought baking in and get whipped up into a hysterical sugar frenzy, the same now applies to canine companions; we go berserk when a dog is brought into the office and everyone wants to say hello and have a go at ‘give us a paw’. Sweet treats are OLD NEWS. (That’s a lie, we all still love free food).

However, whilst the above may be true of a novelty pooch every once in a blue moon, would the same greeting be given each day if dog owners could bring their furry friends into the workplace as the norm? Of course, they would get attention and be included in important decisions, such as when to go for lunch, but would they deter from the productivity of the working day? Au contraire; The Virginia Commonwealth University found that members of staff who were allowed to bring their pets to work showed higher levels of morale and productivity than those who weren’t able to do the same. Job satisfaction was also noted as high and stress levels lower.

Bringing your dog to work is definitely a modern concept, and with so many companies looking to reduce costs by encouraging home-working, employees are seeing pet ownership as more viable. Therefore, on days where being in the office is compulsory, the ability to bring their new best mate in is ideal. One company gained attention for offering ‘paw-ternity’ leave to all staff, whereby two free weeks were given to workers who welcomed a dog into the family as a period of settling in time.

At Cornerstone we are unashamedly big dog-fans and have a dog in the workplace ourselves! She’s called Lady and you can meet her via our team page. But what if you’re not a fan? What if you’re scared of dogs or (this would be the worst) allergic? Is it fair or appropriate to promote a Fido-friendly policy if not everyone is keen? This is where it could be difficult, because despite helping reduce stress for dog lovers, this only applies if the entire office is on board.

Lest we forget that whilst all this talk of dog jollity is great for us, we have to be mindful of the welfare implications for the animals involved. Each dog has to be comfortable in its surroundings and the means of travel each day and this may take time. There also needs to be plenty of water readily available and comfort breaks outside – even the stoutest pup lovers would take umbrage at an office turd. When done responsibly though, dogs can thoroughly enjoy office life and being part of the gang.

If you want to find out which office spaces cater for dogs and heart having them in the workplace, then you can utilise our search tools to factor this in.