Today, Friday 23rd June, is the official Bring Your Dog To Work Day in the UK to raise money for dog charities.
It’s a obviously fun thing to do. But, if you look a little deeper there actually are some real benefits for members of staff who have a furry friend joining them during their working day.
One: Reduces stress in the office.
Playing with or petting an animal, a dog in this case, can increase levels of the stress-reducing hormone oxytocin and decrease production of the stress hormone cortisol. So after you have had a bad meeting going and giving ‘Fido’ in the office a bit of attention could be helping you get rid of some of that business stress.
Two: Brings the team together.
Having dogs in the workplace can prove to be a great way to bring office members together. In a busy workplace, everyone has their own workload and targets to meet. This can result in long time colleagues not really having any relationship other than saying good morning!
Add a dog to that mix and suddenly there is a point of conversation that isn’t about work. People who have their own pets or would love to have one will be attracted to the dog and end up spending time with each other building a stronger team environment.
Three: Increased productivity from employees.
Walking over to say ‘hi’ to the visiting pouch could work wonders for employees’ productivity.
Taking a short break away from your ‘To do’ list is proven to help clear the mind. Allowing you to return to your work more engaged and with a refreshed outlook on the tasks in hand.
Four: Encourages healthy living.
Dogs need to have a walk during the day. It’s not only the animals that need the exercise. Research suggests sitting for too long is bad for your health. It’s linked with obesity and Type II diabetes along with many other illnesses.
In the UK many adults can spend more than seven hours a day sitting down. If responsibility for taking the dog out for a stretch of his legs is shared between the all the members of the team it encourages everyone to take regular short breaks from their desks. Creating the opportunity for all to get a bit of much needed exercise.
Five: No more pets home alone.
Many dogs are left at home alone. Some are left for more than eight hours a day. Being able to bring your pet into your work environment isn’t just good for you and your work colleagues. Dogs are social animals and being left alone for long periods of time can have a negative effect on them. Just ask a dog owner who has returned home to find the house destroyed how upset some can become.
I know from experience, my dog suffers with very bad separation anxiety which is upsetting for us both. If yours does too, visiting your workplace could give you the four benefits above and he will get something as well. Extra time with you, which is what he likes most of all!
If you get to have a canine member of staff in your office every now and again, enjoy it! If you don’t, let your Manager know about all of the benefits and see if you can share your day with a dog.
Anice McNamee (Marketing Manager)