Dog friendly work places can reduce stress, increase happiness, improve morale and provide moments to clear your head throughout the day. But it’s important to do a little planning before introducing furry colleagues to your office. Here’s everything you need to know about making a dog-friendly office.
Maybe it’s because of a lack of dog-friendly offices in our past jobs, but we’ve been remote since day 1 of Scratch. The Covid-19 pandemic’s version of remote is as remote as remote gets, and it’s led many of us to consider how we want to work. Us too – we’re actually in the process of starting our own Scratch HQ.
Of course, it’s got to include dogs.
It’s not just us. Millions of us are wondering how our dogs will cope once we’re out of their sight for the first time in a few years. Some of us are wondering how we ourselves will cope!
Here, we’ll share our tips to making the ultimate dog-friendly office – one that respects dogs, your colleagues and everyone’s boundaries. We include advice, templates and inspiration to pass over for your manager to bring down the cortisol levels in your workplace.
Work is a leading source of stress worldwide. A generation ago, it was largely restricted to CEOs and bankers but now most Australian workplaces are hugely demanding, with notifications and Slack culture preventing us from leaving work at work.
With one in five Aussies taking time off the job because of work-related stress and anxiety, it’s clear the Australian workforce could benefit from some creature comforts.
If the Slack notification-fest wasn’t enough, we’re dealing with a new beast: logging off Zoom, dusting off the non-elastic section of the wardrobe and returning to the workplace. For those of us who’ve shared a co-working space with our pets over the last 18 months, waving goodbye at the door feels like canine sacrilege.
Education, clear guidelines and fair ground rules will be your best friend here.
Making dogs a valued and beneficial part of your workplace centers around 3 key themes:
To make dogs in the office work for you, you first need to understand that dogs are brilliantly, magically, fantastically unique. They vary in breed, personality, preferences, moods and more. Some love pats, others are wary of strangers. Some have stomachs of steel and will sneak any dog food (and non-dog food!) they can, others need something to fix their guts.
It’s important to consider your infrastructure. The more people or the smaller the space, the more to consider.
While some dogs will acclimate to an office like it’s their own home, it’s always best to ease them into new and unfamiliar settings.
Allow some time for your team to bring their dog in for a sniff & explore. Stick to a short, 30-minute introduction instead of throwing them in the deep end with a full day in a new environment.
If you plan on having multiple dogs on any given day, introduce stranger dogs on neutral ground, and make sure to keep the experience low-key. Start with a few hours at a time before progressing.
In the early days, employees could consider buddying up: watching each other’s dog when somebody needs to use the bathroom, attend a meeting, and so on.
For more information on working with dogs: