May 16, 2011

Dog Days are Over

Could it be that the stagnation that afflicts many a workplace could simply be countered by the adoption of dog friendly attitude? I’d be inclined to believe it can help. From the height of my 35 years and 10 career years I’ve spent half of those in places that are happy to see me rock up with my pooch(es) in tow. I’m certain the employee/ employer relationship is greatly improved with the inclusion of four legged friends in the work place.

Beyond the need for rules; no sleeping on the printer, cocking a leg under the desk or coughing up grass balls, and remaining sensitive to allergies and colleague sensibilities, what’s the harm?

When I was over in sunny California last November I was amazed at how many companies I visited had lazy Labs or cuddly Pugs curled up on the floor/desk/play area while the rest of the office hummed along with work activities. Man and beast friend sharing the work environment. As a visitor I sensed increased humanity due to this canine presence. Strange but true.

Here at Rubber Republic we’ve had an agency dog for the past year. Biased, as the dog in question is mine, I can honestly say that her presence has created absolutely no disruption/ upset/ discord among the team. Quite the opposite in fact. As we are on the larger side of a standard SME we are all from varying back grounds, age and with a wide range of interests. One thing every new employee has in common however: they all smile on day 1 when meeting Rubber dog Boo. Meet her for yourself and see how she makes you feel:

For info, here are a few other companies who proudly declare their pet friendly work policy:

YELP, Google, Amazon, Dogstrust, Paul Frank, DDB France

The raison d’être of american companies such as Dogster and SimplyHired is to offer dog friendly job searching. In their own words: “… we’ve made it simple for dog-friendly employers and employees to sniff each other out.” What a concept.





During my 3 years at DDB in Paris, I would to bring both my dogs to work – both on my ageing Vespa – which staved off the mundane from my daily commute.. The attitude at DDB was that unless our CEO was having meeting with clients who weren’t keen on dogs, the entire 9 floor 400 person strong agency was open to their snuffling, wagging Beagle bodies. They would get walked by whoever felt inclined to do it, pampered by whoever was having a coffee or fag break, and that suited everyone fine. Our internal comms system proved its worth when fetching was required, but mostly these pooches were a vehicle for swathes of people to say Hi, share stories and engage with each other. From dogs to the greater beyond.

What I know: dogs in the work place boosts morale and offer stress busting benefits. Woof!