With today being ‘Bring Your Dog To Work Day’, it seems an apt time to reflect on why having dogs at work can be a real asset to your business and more than just a meaningless fad to attract millennials.
From a personal perspective, my work-life balance and general wellbeing have undoubtedly improved since getting my beloved Cockapoo Dexter in 2016. His arrival led to Perkbox becoming a dog-friendly office and we haven’t looked back as a company since, with a new furry addition in the office every couple of months.
So what is the dogs at work ‘hype’ all about?
1. Dogs at work act as a wellbeing booster
Some research we carried out into the topic here at Perkbox, found that dogs help employees with both their physical and mental health. 65 percent of those surveyed say dogs at work encourage them to take short breaks from their desks, increasing their productivity and overall wellbeing.
I suppose this helps explain why Dexter became ‘Chief Happiness Officer’ shortly after joining Perkbox, with the responsibility of giving cuddles and bringing a smile to the face of our employees.
From a personal perspective, Dexter has acted as a great conversation starter with colleagues and allowed me to expand my network of friends at Perkbox outside my team. It seems I’m not alone – 72 percent of those surveyed in our research agree that dogs provide a great way to get chatting to others who share that passion with you.
These benefits may be amongst the reasons why more and more companies are becoming friendly, including companies such as Google, Amazon and Airbnb.
2. How they help promote a healthy work-life balance
Dogs in the workplace encourage employees to be more aware of their work-life balance.
Pets need to go outside during the day and provide a great reminder for employees to take a quick break from their desks and clear their heads at work. For me, having a change of scenery has stimulated creative ideas and new solutions to problems I have been working on.
What’s great is that this benefit can extend to non-dog owning employees too, by encouraging them to have some doggy therapy, which is a great stress reliever. Employees will become much more productive as a result, numerous studies have found.
3. How they can help signal your employees you care
Implementing a “dog at work” policy is a way to show your employees you care about them, not just inside work but outside of work too. At Perkbox for example, one of our values is ‘it’s not a job, it’s a family’. When I first received permission to bring Dexter to work, it truly did demonstrate this value to me as an employee, as did the way everyone embraced him with open arms. Perkbox truly felt like a family.
From a personal finance perspective, working for a dog-friendly company also helps save money in looking after Dexter, an added bonus! Paying for a dog walking service or doggy daycare can be a large expense, especially when working long hours or if you have a lengthy commute.
And finally, let’s not forget that a dog-friendly policy can also act as a recruitment tool with 42% of millennials say they’d enjoy having a canine companion in the workplace.
So, if you’re still not a dog-friendly office, what are you waiting for?
Dogs aren’t called ‘man’s best friend’ without good reason!
About the author: Sam Monk Wilson, is a Senior Corporate Account Manager at Perkbox.