We dogs go to the office. We can do that because mom and dad are the owners of the company so we have pull. Even still, we recommend it highly as something that many offices should do. The benefits have been and continue to be reported in the mainstream media by the scientific community. If you ask us, it just makes good sense all around.
On top of writing this dlog, we help out mom and dad in the following way:
- We recharge. Sitting at the computer too long is bad for mom and dad’s circulation, their weight and their posture. By bringing them a ball to play with, or by giving them a wet nose nudge, we get them out of their chairs to walk and stretch.
- We inspire. By getting them out for walks or even five minutes of playtime, we get mom and dad to think about something else than their work challenges. This way, when they sit down again to focus, they can think more clearly.
- We console. When things get tense or someone doesn’t feel well, we are there to provide comfort and to de-stress.
- We problem-solve. Just having us present in a room gives them the opportunity to think outside of themselves and work with each other better to solve problems.
- We give perspective. When small things take on too much import, we are there to show them, hey, poop happens! You scoop it up and carry on. No biggy.
For us dogs the benefits are great:
- We get to be with you! We don’t think we need to extrapolate further on that point.
- We get to meet other dogs and people everyday. We are social creatures so spending time with other people and dogs is great for our well-being.
- We get more potty breaks. Since we are with you instead of by ourselves at home, we have a chance to go on more walks for you. Good for us. Good for you.
- Did we mention we get to be with you?
Starting an Office Pet Policy
If you want to have dogs at the office, you’ll need to do your research to state your case professionally and fairly, making sure you consider everyone’s needs. If you make it as easy as possible for your employer to establish a pet policy, you have the best chance of initiating one. Here are some tips:
- Show the research on increased productivity and lowered absenteeism:
- 73% said that having pets in the office increased productivity.
- 58% of employees worked longer hours when their pets were in the office with them.
- 73% said having pets in the office lead to a more creative environment.
- 27% noticed a decrease in employees being absent (of course, who wouldn’t look forward to going into work with a ready-to-pet furry, cuddly pooch there)! In addition, none of the companies surveys reported an increase in absenteeism.
- 96% said that pets create positive work relations.
- 100% of the companies surveyed said they would continue to allow pets in the workplace!
- Pets in the office helps recruit and retain talented employees
- Show the health benefits. Purina’s Pets@Work campaign illustrates it in a convenient PDF for your to print out:
- Reducing stress. A recent study has shown that employees who bring their pets to work tend to have a lower stress level by the end of the day. Stress in the workplace has been associated with negative physical and psychological outcomes, including a general decline in physical health. The study found that interacting with their pets lowered the levels of cortisol in the employees’ bodies, a stress-related hormone that can lead to high cholesterol levels, hypertension and depression. When employees feel good, they can be happier and more productive!
- Getting happy. A study found in New Scientist Magazine explains that humans who interacted with pets for only a few minutes saw dramatic increases in hormones like oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin – chemicals associated with happiness and well-being. Plus, the pets had an increase in positive hormones, too. And good moods often lead to more creativity in the workplace!
- Helping to lower blood pressure – plus other health benefits. The CDC says that having pets can reduce your blood pressure, in addition to decreasing loneliness, lowering cholesterol levels and encouraging physical activity. The better an employee feels on a regular basis, the more they are able to stay focused and produce quality work in the long run!
- Provide sample pet policies, such as this one by PetSit.com: Pet policy at work
Best of luck and enlist your dog to beg, if you have to! Who can resist our big pleading eyes? All’s fair in office politics.
Remember, dogs are people, too!
– Happy, Lady & Lucy, the office dogs at Happy Lady Productions
Emily Randolph is the Owner of Happy Lady Productions, a philanthropic book publisher supporting animal welfare and pet therapy programs, and the co-author of Dima’s Dog School. Books by Emily to be released in 2012 include: children’s picture books Dogs Are…. Just Like You!; It’s a King’s Life at the Cypress Inn; Sisters; and non-fiction Handfeeding Handbook: 5 Easy Steps to a Well-Trained, Happy Dog.
 CostcoConnection, October 2012: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCIQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.costcoconnection.com%2Fconnection%2F201210%2F%3Fpg%3D27&ei=Nat1ULmKCaHg2gWUqYGwBg&usg=AFQjCNF4LlZRmYrR7tIjDJvE_o0hUvuqUw&sig2=epx1C6X2EpgefqXMBMZxmg