How much is that doggie in the office?
The other day my mother went to see a play. She said that during the performance a dog walked into the auditorium, strolled down the aisle and sat down.
It turns out the dog belonged to the theatre. It had full run of the place, hanging around the café, wandering around backstage and watching plays with punters. It got me thinking that if a theatre can have a dog, why shouldn’t an office?
There’s a lot of research suggesting pets have a positive effect on people’s lives. But it’s dogs that might be good for the workplace. A Virginia Commonwealth University study said workplace dogs reduced employees’ self-reported amounts of stress. And research from Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant said pooches might be good for fostering collaboration, making people trust colleagues more during group tasks.
Of course, before you bring a dog to the office you need to make sure it’s appropriate. Check it’s permissible under Health & Safety. Make sure none of your colleagues are allergic or afraid. Have cleaning materials (perhaps including a pet-filter vacuum cleaner) in case it makes a mess or sheds a lot. And be honest about your hound – is it cuddly and calm or a growler and a howler?
Whatever you do, don’t take a cat into the office. By lunchtime it’ll be running the place.