At Spencer Hunt we’re no strangers to having dogs snoozing under our desk. If you follow our social media you’ve probably already seen a few of our furry friends sleeping wherever they can lay down! And we’re not the only company that has a dog-friendly policy to work – the popularity of the PAW programme (Pooches at work) has reached new heights since it began to spread in 2008. In recent years, it feels like you can’t browse LinkedIn without coming across someone’s adorable pupper.
But it’s not just social media likes that are fuelling the craze for office dogs – there are real and tangible benefits to bringing your dog into work with you. From better mental health to higher productivity, the reasons to work in an office that allows pooches are plenty! Here are five of our favourites:
1 – Dogs Reduce Stress and Improve Mood
Okay, this seems like an obvious benefit. Who wouldn’t love having their pooch plod around the office? We all love having dogs in our lives, so it makes total sense that bringing your dog into work has a positive impact on people’s attitudes in the office.
But the science goes deeper than just a simple mood-lift. According to research published in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management, bringing your dog into work does more than improve your mood. According to Evan Maclean, an assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Arizona, it has tangible benefits on stress levels and improves overall mental health.
“Animals reduce activity in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, which is our primary stress response system.” For those of us not versed in neurology – this simply means less stress for everyone around your new office companion.
In today’s world, where mental health is at the front and centre of people’s minds and we are constantly on the lookout for ways we can improve our stress and anxiety levels, it feels like a no-brainer to allow dogs to invade our working lives. In the world of recruitment, which can admittedly make stress run quite high, it’s even easier to see the benefits of having a paws-itive approach to having dogs within easy reach.
2 – Flexibility increases trust
Taking care of a dog and working full time can be hard. Sometimes dogs are needy creatures – and I’m not just talking about the love and attention they crave. Occasionally, unforeseeable circumstances make it impossible to leave your dog alone (emergency rips to the vet, anyone?). Having the flexibility to bring your dog into the workplace, should the time call for it, can be incredibly beneficial and valuable to employees who want to keep their dogs as happy as possible.
By introducing a dog-friendly approach to the office, everyone can benefit from this increased flexibility should they need to – building trust between employees and the company. It can seem like a small thing to some, but having an office that’s receptive to these ideas makes all the difference to dog owners!
3 – Higher Productivity and Creativity
It’s easy to see having pets in the office as a distraction to people trying to get on with work – after all, bringing a puppy into the office seems like a sure way to have everyone put down the phones and spend a good chunk of the day cooing at the new furry employee. But studies show that keeping a pug in your snack drawer can actually have the opposite effect to productivity in the office.
A study by the American Pets Association shows that pets in the office actually allow us to be more productive throughout the working day. Beyond distracting people with the need to pet the pupper, giving people the opportunity to take a short break in order to cuddle up to their canine-pals allows them to go back to their work feeling more creative and motivated to be productive.
4 – Better Co-operation between Teams
Not only does bringing your dog into work increase an individuals productivity at their desk, but it also benefits entire teams. Dogs are an excellent ice-breaker and are a sure way to get people talking. Allowing employees to bond over their shared fluffy interests creates better inter-office relationships, making it more likely that people will work together more productively.
When recruitment offices can be so reliant on the relationships between teams of consultants – or even the relationship between a Business Developers and their Delivery Consultants – allowing dogs to roam the office floor are an excellent way to keep these relationships strong.
5 – It’s Better for the Dogs!
Who can forget the dogs in all of this? While the benefits of bringing your dog to work are numerous for yourself and the office as a whole, it’s important to note that it’s also an incredible benefit for your dog, too!
A new environment, with an increase in attention, more petting and more people to greet sounds like a dream to dogs that love to socialise with others. If you’re used to working full time and leaving the dog alone, this can be even more true, as giving your co-workers the opportunity to play with your dog stops them from feeling lonely.
So there you have it, not only does bringing your dog into the office increase productivity for yourself and your team, reduce your stress levels and create a better relationship with your employer – but it also benefits your dog too.
With this in mind, it’s easy to see why dogs on desks are making the rounds all over LinkedIn. It’s just one small benefit to working in a flexible office, but it’s one that has some great perks – as well as giving everyone an opportunity to grab some more social media engagement!