The Office Dog Chronicles – How you can create the perfect environment
Before 2020, the idea of the office dog could best be described as, “perfect for hipsters, people at Google and anyone who worked in the trades.” Of course, all of that changed when the pandemic hit and we realised that we all needed a four legged friend in our lives.
The statistics speak for themselves. According to Pets4Homes, by May 2020 there were more than 400 buyers for every pet advertised in the UK. Things like pet insurance policies increased by 59% and Google searches for “buy a puppy” increased by 115%.
As we discovered only a few weeks ago, the perfect inner city office still needs to cater for our four legged friends. It shouldn’t surprise anyone reading this that studies have shown that having pets in an office can reduce stress, lower blood pressure and make employees more cordial and productive.
So, how can we create the perfect office environment for our canine pals? Here are some suggestions.
1. Know your dog!
Before bringing your dog to the office, get to know their quirks and preferences. Is your four-legged buddy an introverted pug or an extroverted Labrador? Do they prefer belly rubs or a quick game of fetch? Understanding your dog’s unique personality will help create a harmonious atmosphere for everyone.
2. Wag-Tastic Office Dog Policies
Implement some dog-friendly office policies that keep tails wagging and spirits high. Make sure everyone knows the leash rules, designated dog-free zones (for those with allergies or “cat people” tendencies), and poop scoop duty. Keeping it lighthearted is key—after all, we’re here for the laughs!
3. Doggone Safe Space
Let’s dog-proof the office! Remove any potential hazards like low-hanging cables (apparently, they’re quite tasty), toxic plants (they’re not the best salad greens), and piles of important paperwork (perfect for a game of shredding). Consider investing in a doggy playpen if you’re worried about your furry friend causing chaos.
4. Comfort is Key
Create cosy resting spots for your dog throughout the office. Dog beds, plush blankets, or even a mini doggy hammock (yes, they exist) will do the trick. Just make sure it’s near your desk so you can sneak in some extra cuddles during coffee breaks.
5. Playtime is Serious Business
Dogs love playtime, and you’ll love the mood boost it provides. Schedule short play breaks to toss a ball or tug on a squeaky toy. Trust us; it’s the perfect way to get your creative juices flowing!
6. Fuelling Up
Designate an area for food and water. Keep it far from your keyboard, unless you’re looking to explore the mysterious world of “keyboard cookies.” Ensure your dog has access to fresh water throughout the day to stay hydrated and ready for action.
7. Toys Galore
Keep the entertainment rolling with a variety of toys. Puzzle feeders, squeaky toys, and even a rubber chicken or two can provide endless amusement for your dog and coworkers alike. Just be prepared for the occasional squeak-induced office laughter.
8. Nature Calls
Don’t forget bathroom breaks! Step outside with your dog for some fresh air and a little exercise. It’s a great way to recharge your own batteries, too. Plus, a walk around the block can lead to unexpected moments of inspiration—yes, even in the dog-waste-bag-toting department.
9. Doggy Diplomacy
Some dogs are natural social butterflies, while others may need a bit of charm school. Proper training and socialisation can help your furry friend become the office superstar, spreading joy to coworkers with every tail wag.
10. Boundaries, Please
Not everyone is a die-hard dog enthusiast, and some might prefer their furry coworkers from a distance. Always respect your coworkers’ boundaries and allergies. A little courtesy goes a long way.
11. Bask in the Doggy Delight
In conclusion, having dogs in the office isn’t just a wagging tail—it’s a wagging mood-lifter! With their boundless enthusiasm, playfulness, and unconditional love, office dogs provide not only mental but also physical wellbeing. They can lower stress levels, encourage exercise (hello, walking breaks!), and even induce a few laughs during those dreaded Monday morning meetings.
So, if you want a happier, healthier, and hilariously entertaining workplace, consider welcoming some furry coworkers. They may not master the art of email, but they’re experts in boosting morale and bringing sunshine to even the rainiest of workdays. It’s a doggone good idea!