Incorporating an Office Dog Into Your Workspace

Incorporating an Office Dog Into Your Workspace

Up the winding stairs to a small open plan office

Six rectangular desks with cantilevered legs, an open floor space, pot plant and coffee cups, and an immediate greeting from Sheridan, the gentle honey-coloured Spaniel walks straight from the opposite end of the room head down to greet me. He transforms the atmosphere immediately from functional to welcoming. “Are you ok with dogs?” Ok? I might not have been, on the contrary, his presence made the office more inviting. He was a pleasant distraction from the unnerving knowledge that as you spoke to one person, everyone could hear everything and the awkwardness of being referred from one desk to another, the neighbouring desk, all lessened by the friendly team and Sheridan, of course.

Sheridan is one of the team

Sheridan is the meet and greet of the team, a bond formed between colleagues, he has one of the most important jobs in the small office, boosting morale and putting customers at ease. The teamwork together to take him for short walks, feed him and make sure his needs are met. Sheridan, on the other hand, sits quietly but requires love and attention between tasks. He time-shares his love between everyone and relaxes whilst the teamwork. Sheridan is an example, but a recent visit to similar office space and meeting their dog inspired his character.

Businesses with pets are seen as progressive         Softening the company image and showing the company to be forward-thinking and modern, pets in the office can also boost productivity. Most people react positively when they meet the office animal companion and it can put them at their ease. An animal can also be an encouraging sign for potential customers and employees as a company that loves and looks after animals are likely to be one that looks after clients and staff. A ‘bring your pet to work policy’ can also lead to a lower absence rate and better morale amongst colleagues at work.

Right pet, right furniture

Furniture is part and parcel of your workplace culture and trends change over time, much like pets. Take dogs which have been bred for a purpose, be it recreation, sport or looks. Dogs are an ideal companion for agile, activity-based work environments. They encourage people to get up, move around and collaborate with others. Modern offices focus on experience and comfort, not just on the end result, well, maybe they focus on the end result, but in a different way. New ways of thinking mean that people work in break out areas, at sit-stand desks and touchdown spaces, each of which is carefully ergonomically designed for specific purposes. Cats can be self-sufficient and tend to be smaller so will fit in at a lot of small offices. They don’t need to be walked, but may need a cat litter tray, food, water, and occasional attention. There are all sorts of pets that can be brought to work or may live on the premises. From fish for Feng Shui to lazy lizards, slithery snakes, stick insects and chirrupy birds, the right pet for the office can make all the difference. But back to dogs, we have a duty of care to ensure they are comfortable and happy in the workplace, that they have ample room to move about, privacy should they want to chill out and that colleagues and customers alike are comfortable and at ease with their presence.

Before you consider taking your dog to work think it through. Would your dog be happy in the space, is your dog’s temperament suited to the office?

Bringing your dog to work: training

So, your work has agreed for you to bring your dog to work, dive right in what? Dogs like to know the rules and a new environment may require new rules for you and your dog. You may need to make accommodations to ensure your dog is at comfortable and well looked after. Take time to show your dog around. We all like to be shown around a new office environment and your dog will appreciate time spent giving him some pointers. Prepare your dog for all sorts of scenarios and personalities. Good training may help your dog adapt to different voices, behaviours and the unexpected. You can have a lot of fun with this and begin to learn a lot for your own survival too. Imitate real people and real scenarios, be honest.

Hygiene is essential for your dog in the office

Give your dog a good bath and clean before work and make sure that there are adequate comfort breaks once you are there. You could also ensure a manicure and toothbrush before imposing dog breath on everyone.

Does your dog like lots of exercise?

 Does your dog like to doze about until you nudge it to go for a walk or need loads of exercise to wear off excess energy? You know your dog, try to give it the exercise it needs and feels comfortable with whilst you are at work. You may need to write yourself a schedule which includes your dogs needs. This may be beneficial for you too and improve your work experience and productivity.

From football pitch to multi-use furniture; Jackapoo to Labradoodle; what can you realistically fit in your office?

A large conglomerate office may well be able to accommodate a football pitch and climbing wall, a Jacuzzi and an intimate coffee room. A small office may need to double up furniture for more than one purpose like seats that are also storage space. A Jackapoo is a Jack Russell and Poodle cross, it is a small dog suitable for most workplaces. On the other hand, a Labradoodle, which is a Poodle and Labrador cross can potentially be a larger dog and more suitable for an office with room to move about freely. Whatever your workplace is like, meeting the right requirements is essential for comfort and productivity. Of course, when I say what dog can you realistically fit in your office, this is a real consideration as a dog or other animal may need room to roam. A very large building with lots of space to move about may be suitable for a large dog.

What’s that dog doing in my office?

It is increasingly on-trend to own modern cross-breed and toy dogs. Controversially they are being bred for size and convenience as well as looks. Crufts has taken the step to ban certain breeds from the show, with good reason, there can be all sorts of health issues with certain breeds. Whilst dogs have been bred for purpose for centuries, “Toy” dogs are a relatively new phenomenon, shock horror, they are also real, a factor that can be overlooked. Humans have a habit of humanising objects and animals and this can be a hazard, a problem that led to the original RSPCA campaign, “Dogs are for life, not just for Christmas”. When the novelty of owning a ‘toy’ dog wears off and the reality sets in, owners can find they have a problem on their hands. But it is not all doom and gloom. “Toy” dogs can bring a responsible owner a lot of pleasure. Each dog has a personality to consider; when bringing a pet to work, make sure both people and pets are going to be happy. The RSPCA policy on dogs at work is that all workplaces should have an “animals’ in the workplace policy”. They also stipulate that a dog owner should ensure that their dog is kept under control in an appropriate manner to ensure their welfare and safety.

The fun part!

Here is a video that shows the importance of bringing your dog to work!

Dogs are a man’s best friend and bringing your dog to work can improve mental and physical wellbeing both of which can make you more productive. A dog at work can also benefit the dog as they are in company and dogs like company so this may boost their morale and wellbeing too. Observing your pet and how it interacts with people and other pets can bring people together and become a talking point. Pets can break down barriers between people and reduce stress. Looking after your dogs' needs can also encourage you to take adequate breaks and exercise. Suss out your dogs' personality, what traits does it have from which parent. Best of all, play! One of the most modern office must-have items of furniture is the touchdown table. And no, that isn’t an American football pitch on a table, it is a multipurpose surface which has a mix of surfaces set at different heights. Great for a quick chat, noting down an idea or working with your dog near to hand (or heel). Be it scoring a touchdown and succeeding at work or walking the dog around the office, have fun and have a great day!

The CK Straight Desk with Cantilever Legs is stylish, affordable, and comfortable

Metal cantilever legs offset the light beech or oak wood finish. The height is adjustable so they can be set to the most comfortable height for you.  Our range comes in four distinct sizes 1000mm,1200mm,1400 and 1600mm. We also stock matching mobile pedestals for under the desks. These desks work as stand alone or can be placed in groups to suit your company needs.

  • Takes about a week for delivery
  • 1000mm, 1200mm, 1400mm, 1600mm available in four sizes
  • Streamline 25mm thick Tops
  • 3mm ABS Smooth Edges
  • Smart Silver Cable Ports
  • Double Strut Cantilevered Legs
  • Feet that are Height Adjustable
  • A choice of a Beech or Oak finish
  • Plus, a 5 Year Manufacturers Guarantee