As I sit and type this on a Friday afternoon, I’m looking across the Viva office as my Cockapoo Mavis stretches out on the carpet and yawns.
You see, boss man Tony lets us bring our canine chums into work as part of our Dog Days initiative.
This all started after a visit by Lisa W’s pet pooch, Dexter the Springer Spaniel, as part of Bring Your Dog to Work Day – we noticed a lift in the mood of the office having him around, so we’ve now have ‘adopted’ him and Mavis as our two office dogs.
But aside from myself and Lisa saving pennies on doggy day care and the like, what are the benefits for Team Viva?
Well, research has shown that canine colleagues can improve staff wellbeing and productivity – perfect if you’re having a ruff day.
It’s still an emerging trend, with about 8% of employees in the UK being allowed to take their dogs to work, according to research by Reed.co.uk.
But the popularity of Bring Your Dog to Work Day on 24 June each year means a wider range of businesses across the country are waking up to the benefits of allowing dogs at work.
And it’s not just productivity getting a boost – we often say that Dexter and Mavis help us relax and can inspire creativity. Pretty handy in our ideas-based line of work!
Pay attention! Here’s the science bit…
Scientists doing research into the effects of bringing dogs to work have made similar observations to ours. Researchers for the Virginia Commonwealth University in the US studied the stress levels of employees of a manufacturing company who brought their dogs to work in 2012.
Maybe not a far-fetched outcome, but they found these workers reported feeling significantly less stressed throughout the day than those who did not bring a dog to work.
Reduced stress levels are not the only benefit, according to psychologists at Central Michigan University, who’ve also been busy studying this phenomenon.
Their research shows that people are perceived as friendlier and more approachable when a dog is present in the office. Plus, it’s likely to increase cooperation and other positive behaviours among members of work groups.
This was highlighted earlier today when we had a client visit. I answered the door phone to:
“It’s Rachael and David from Transport Training Academy and we’re here to see Mavis.”
We’re lucky to have these two waggy-tailed creatures in the office through the week. In fact, I personally think a company would (within reason) be barking mad to not consider a similar initiative.
Ok, no more dog puns. Fur sure.
We’re actually looking for new members of our team here at Viva HQ so if you like the sound of our canine companions, they’ll be conducting the interview*.
Find out more about our latest vacancies here.
*we like them to take the lead on these things.
Digital Media Account Manager