By: Kendra Mahon
As pet owners, we all know the feeling of guilt when those big, puppy dog eyes look up at us as we’re walking out the door….if only we could bring them to work.
I’m an insane animal-lover. So, when I first joined O&G and learned Snail was able to join me, (yes, that is my dog’s name), I was more than a little excited. It may sound trivial to some, but whenever I mention that my workplace lets me bring in my pup – people think it’s the greatest thing ever. Typically, an excited chat ensues, insisting every office should embrace this culture.
Here are five reasons dog-friendly offices rock.
1. Enhances culture
Regardless of where you are, dogs are natural conversation-starters. In an office setting, it creates bonding experiences with your co-workers. Just by telling a story about how you found your pup or sharing his/her weird quirks, you engage in natural, more comfortable conversations that help foster deeper connections with your team. Business is business, but genuine, friendly working relationships enable better collaboration and improve the workplace’s overall vibe.
2. Puts things into perspective
Ever walk out of a stressful meeting and feel frustrated or overwhelmed? It happens to us all, but when you’re immediately greeted by a fur-ball, wagging her tail with a tennis ball in her mouth, how can you not smile? Not every bump in the road is the end of the world – and a dog’s positive energy and unconditional love is a small reminder of that. So take a deep breath, throw the tennis ball and work on how you’ll nail it next time.
3. Reminds you to take a break
This may vary for some, but in a world of instant
communication, where you’re constantly “on” and juggling multiple priorities, it can be hard to pull yourself away from your desk. Lunches are often a quick snack over the keyboard (or skipped altogether), but after a couple hours of your dog staring at you expectantly, you know it’s time for a walk. Which leads into point number four…
4. Increases productivity Arguable, pausing to toss a toy around might disrupt your workflow, but taking a few minutes for yourself throughout the workday can actually have the opposite effect. Countless studies support the idea of taking sporadic breaks to increase productivity. (Stanford University reported that the simple act of walking can boost creative thinking by 60%). Peeling your eyes off the computer screen and getting some air allows you to reenergize and prioritize the goals you’ll tackle when you return.
5. Provides schedule flexibility
Rushing to pick up your dog from day care or dashing home for a lunchtime walk can be tough no matter where you work. When you are lucky enough to bring your fur-friend to work with you, staying past closing time doesn’t create complications. If you’re on a tight deadline or on a roll with a creative project, having the ability to stay late alleviates a lot of stress for pet parents.
Added bonus: Your dog has a whole group of people excited to see her each day. Every morning when Snail and I walk in and each team member greets her with genuine excitement, the happiness she exudes is infectious.
Read more on pet-friendly offices, including ours, in a recent Associated Press article.