June 22, 2018

Paws for thought

Posted by Kayleigh Parkinson

As a dog lover, Bring Your Dog To Work Day ticked all of our accounts assistant, Kayleigh’s boxes. Here, she shares why dogs are great to have in the workplace, as well as five considerations you may need to think about.

The first thing I do in a morning, before my brain even considers numbers and pounds, is walk the dogs, and as soon as I leave work, I’m back out with my pooches. Ever since the day I was born, dogs have played a huge part in my life and when I am not at work, I am travelling to the other end of the UK (as well as Ireland and wider Europe) to compete in exhibitions. Last year my Eurasier, Xania, finished as the UK’s Top Eurasier and my puppy Angus, was also Top Puppy. 

When I started my job at Fifth Ring, one of the things that was most attractive was the dog friendly environment. Bring Your Dog To Work Day will see many of the team take in their four legged friends, however our canine colleagues are always welcome.

 Xania makes frequent visits to the office, as does Peter’s black labs, Tilly and Mac and we’ve most recently been introduced to Leigh-Ann’s westie, Floyd. The dogs always enjoy their time here, basking in the attention from all the other employees.

So here are five reasons as to why dogs are great to have in the workplace, as well as five considerations you may need to think about:

Lowering Stress

Having a dog with that infectious and sloppy smile instantly lowers employee stress levels. Many universities have introduced puppy time in the run up to exams for their students to help cope with the added stress. A study undertaken in the US showed that people who brought their pets to work were significantly less stressed than those who didn’t.

Promote Lunchtime Exercise

Dogs need exercising whatever the weather. And that doesn’t stop when you’re in the office. Getting employees away from their desks, can often be a challenge so having something to ensure you definitely go out is never a bad thing. A lunchtime walk gives you that key screen break as well as fresh air to keep you thinking straight.

Work Life Balance

With an estimated nine million dogs in the UK, most families will own a dog. This has led to an increase in dog walkers or people dashing home to let the dog out at lunch. Having your dog alongside you at work, means that employees have less things to worry about and can focus better on the task in hand. There is nothing worse than panicking at work thinking about what the dog has damaged at home, or if he/she is lonely.

Improve Social Interaction

Dog owners love talking about their dog. They will never be short of conversation and if in doubt, mention the dog! It’s important that employees interact with each other, sharing key interests and improving staff morale. It is easier to work with people that you enjoy communicating with – even if they only want to be your friend to get to your dog!

Improving the Company Image

Allowing employees to take their dogs to work, not only gives the image of a fun and welcoming office environment but also that the company is open and forward thinking. Clients and employees enjoy engaging with the dogs, and who can resist those puppy dog eyes when you are closing that massive business deal. Hounds means pounds!

However, while all this is good and well, there are some considerations that you may want to make before jumping into allowing your employees to take their dogs into the office, including:

  • Make sure everyone is on board. If people have allergies or fears, this won't make for a happy, relaxed work environment.
  • Make sure the office is ‘pet friendly’. Tidy cables, and perhaps a lidded bin could be a good idea. No one wants the dog raiding their bin and also a puppy chewing a cable, well that’s not safe or clever.
  • Fresh water. This goes without saying, but always ensure there is plenty fresh water as offices can get hot, especially for dogs.
  • Treats and toys. While most dogs will happily laze around all day, some need something to keep them occupied. A boredom buster or a chew will keep them entertained (for a while at least).
  • Walkies. Meetings run on and people get engrossed with their tasks, but always make sure someone can take the dog out for a quick walk to the grass. We don’t want accidents.

Fifth Ring are celebrating #BringYourDogToWorkDay on 22nd June 2018. As part of this, we’ll be raising funds for Mrs Murray’s Cat & Dog Home. If you would like to donate check out their website: https://mrsmurrays.co.uk/donate.