As a dog owner, I’m perhaps biased on the subject of whether to bring a dog into the office. That said, as the owner of the business, I needed to make sure it was okay with my team to bring a dog into our working environment. I didn’t want him to be too much of a distraction (actually, he’s one big distraction).
When the company moved from Barnsley to Doncaster and into larger premises, it was the perfect time to introduce Arrow, my golden retriever, to the rest of the team. They’d met him a couple of times before, but this was the first time he’d spent the day with us at work. Luckily, I’m also a dog trainer; Arrow is well-behaved, and I’ve got to say, I was one proud dad that day.
He came in, said hello to everyone, then when I asked him to ‘go to bed’ he laid in his basket next to me and fell asleep.
To be honest, it's probably one of the best company decisions I’ve made, as everyone loves him. He makes sure everyone is feeling good; if someone feels a little down, he picks up his favourite ‘Angry Bird’ toy and takes it to them.
He’s truly earned his title of ‘Chief Cuddle Officer’ and lives up to it each day. The worry of whether he’d be too much of a distraction soon disappeared - all he does is waddle towards everyone to say hello, his tail wagging, then he finds a place in the office (usually in the middle, where he can be the centre of attention) and just relaxes with his toys.
I’m pretty sure that I can speak on behalf of my team and say that there’s definitely a void in the office on the days he's not there (he's a popular dog, he regularly visits friends). Everyone is more productive and happier when he’s with us at work. He encourages us to have small breaks on a regular basis - breaks that completely take us away from our screens.
In terms of clients, they all adore him. More often than not clients say hello to him before me. He’s a great guard dog (only if intruders are deterred by the threat of being licked from head to toe!) and, in terms of marketing, he’s been amazing. He’s appeared in a lot of our adverts and even a couple of our clients’. He was born to be on stage.
So, should you have a dog in the office? As long as they’re well behaved, I don’t think there are any negatives around bringing your pooch to work. The joy Arrow gives to us all is more than anything I can provide as the business’s owner. Thankfully, I can pay Arrow in biscuits, cuddles and W.A.L.K.I.E.S (never say that word in the office, unless you want to go on one).
A dog-friendly office is a much nicer environment to work in. I don’t have to worry about Arrow being home alone, nor do I have to rush home at lunchtime to take him for a walk!
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