Happy bring your dog to work day! This annual nationwide event originally started in the UK in 1996 and more businesses are waking up to the idea and celebrating it every year. So, apart from obsessing over their adorable faces, what do we know about the benefits of employees bringing their dogs into work? Is it all puppy love?
Paws for thought (ahem) with us as we take you through bringing man's best friend to work with you.
According to research from Emerald Insight, access to dogs is a calming influence and reduces stress levels, whether people had access to their own pets or other people's. It has been known to reduce not only stress but heart rate and blood pressure too, meaning it can ultimately improve the health and wellbeing of your employees.
Dogs naturally have the pooch power to lift moods and create a happy and positive atmosphere. This type of environment may result in better job satisfaction if introduced into the workplace, it can help employees feel happier and more productive. There is also the hidden benefit of seeing a reduction in absenteeism as employees may be more willing to come into work if they can bring their pet.
Dogs in the workplace can be a great ice-breaker for employees in the organisation and can create conversations amongst employees who have not spoken before, resulting in improved work relationships. This can be an opportunity for employees to bond over dogs and be encouraged to take a more proactive approach in sharing information and completing projects with employees from across the organisation.
A dog-friendly workplace will encourage employees to take regular breaks, get away from their screens and desks and take their dogs for a walk on their lunch break. This gives them a chance to stretch their legs, spend time with their companion and come back to their desk with a fresh mind.
Bring your dog to work day gives organisations an opportunity to nominate animal charities and fundraise money for a good cause. This may boost your image as a responsible organisation and benefit from the positive image as being a caring employer.
Bringing dogs into work can have some complications in the office when it comes to health and safety, insurance and employees who dislike dogs, therefore these factors would need to be considered and organisations would need to think about how to accommodate this part of the scheme. At Nestle, dogs have a three-month probationary period and are restricted to certain areas of the building, which sounds like a suitable solution for all!
Haven't got a dog to hand? There are other ways to improve employee morale and engagement:
- Healthy snacks Known to improve wellbeing in the workplace as well as better job satisfaction and reducing absenteeism. Snacks such as fruit can be a hit in the staff room.
- Team-building exercises As well as being a good way of getting to know each other, team-building exercises are a good way to help your team improve their communication and networking skills.
- Flexi-time Offering employees an option to work flexi-hours has it perks. Staff tend to be more productive at work and happier too, when they are given the opportunity to manage their own hours.
- Other perks Dress down Fridays, weekly prize draws and days off for birthdays are all great ways to remind employees that you are making an active effort to encourage a relaxed but productive environment.
Plus a lot more, even right down to using emojis in the workplace. Looking for ways to increase the productivity of your workforce? Download our latest Focus magazine for more hints and tips plus other great articles, here.