Why every day should be bring your dog to work day

There’s no doubt that we’re a nation of dog lovers. At last count it is estimated that there are 12.5 million dogs in the UK. That’s the equivalent of 26% of the population having a dog. That’s a fair number of pooches cutting about.

We’ve all read those recent articles about ‘lockdown dogs’ and the pressures placed onto shelters now that we’re all returning back to the office. Imagine if we were allowed to bring our furry pals in for a few days a week though?

Who let the dogs out?

We’re lucky here at Born + Raised; our new flexible approach to working also extends to the smaller members of the team too. We’re careful in ensuring that any pets and staff are comfortable at all times with the set-up we have in place, with a no-hurt-feelings policy in place should anyone not fancy a dog in the office on a certain day.

Purina and Nestle are just a few of the big-named brands with a dog policy. Purina ensure all dogs and staff are safe and healthy by insisting that dogs are assessed by a canine behaviour expert before they’re allowed anywhere near the office. The brand has even installed lifts specifically for people with dogs and an enclosed outdoor space to let any pets off the lead for exercise. Having a dog policy is key to making sure employees and pooches alike are safe, happy and productive.

Now that we’ve been using this approach for a few months now, we’re keen to highlight the benefits of bringing your furry friend to the office can have on you, your team and their wellbeing

The benefits.

Giving you a micro-break.

It’s certainly noticeable in the team on the days when we have a furry visitor versus the days we’re animal free. Having those few minutes in the middle of a busy day to stop and fuss a friendly dog never fails to take anyone out of their head – that micro break is often all we need to regain focus and crack on with the day’s tasks.

Reducing stress.

Dogs are proven to reduce stress in the workplace over the course of the day as well as improve job satisfaction. It also stands to reason that the lower the stress levels of a team are, the higher the productivity in an office. Sounds like a win win right?

Reducing absenteeism.

Not only is having a dog in the office great for productivity, but it’s also been proven to increase job satisfaction levels all whilst decreasing absenteeism levels. In fact, one in two companies have reported a reduction in absenteeism once an office dog was introduced; to say this is an increasingly popular practice, just imagine how these stats will change over the following years.

The benefits for your mental health.

Noticeable change in brain activity.

Having a pet is also increasingly being recognised as being good for our mental health; there’s even recent evidence to suggest that when we look at a dog, our brain registers similar activity to that of when we look at a baby, how mad is that?

Getting the team out and about.

Making the lunch time walk of the office pooch a team effort is great for a number of reasons. It’ll bring you and your colleagues together in a bonding exercise that is separate from the office (who doesn’t love talking about dogs?). Plus getting out and about in the fresh air in the middle of the day and away from eating our lunch at our desks boosts emotional wellbeing. Anything that encourages the team to get out and about in the fresh air, we’re all over it.

Boost creativity.

Not only are dogs good for forcing us out into the fresh air, it’s also proven that the petting of a dog causes the production of serotonin, which can help boost creativity as the team will be in a calm but energised state.

The benefits for your dog.

The Dog’s Trust recently conducted a dog owners survey and the impact of lockdown on their pets. More than a quarter reported that their dog had shown at least one new problem behaviour over lockdown. Bringing your pup into the office can help to alleviate some of the stressors your dog has encountered during lockdown and help get them back to the routine they had pre-pandemic.

Reducing attachment separation. 

Bringing dogs into the office helps in aiding the reduction of attachment separation. None of us have been anywhere for the past year or so, so our pets have definitely got used to having us around. Now that the exodus back to the office seems to have begun it will no doubt be a stressful time for dogs. Bringing them to the office for a day or two a week will help with the slow process back to their pre-pandemic routine.

Encouraging socialisation.

Again, your dog will have only seen you and your household for the last year. Allowing your pet into the office will massively help with their socialisation and ultimately ‘reinforce desirable behaviours’ that will mean you have the best-behaved boy around.

Perhaps the new flexible working way of life that is currently sweeping the country will pave the way for us to bring our four-legged friends into the office on a more permanent basis. Once you’ve got those policies in place that are suited to both your office and team anything will be paw-sible!