Paws For Thought: Why Dog-friendly Coworking Spaces Are The Way Forward

#TakeYourDogToWork day was a major hit worldwide last month and it’s no surprise that the annual global event, celebrated on the 22nd of June gets bigger and bigger every year. We certainly had lots of pooch perfect social media posts trending!

In fact, our team at CoWork Me have been strong advocates for canine co-working since our inception and whilst initially this policy may seem a bit fluffy, there are many grounded reasons for our dog friendly attitude. And, we’re not alone. By bringing your pet to work at CoWorkMe, you are joining the ranks of Amazon, Google, Etsy and AirBnB…pretty good company to be in.

So why are pets a boost for business?

Dog sleeping on bed next to woman working

Dogs are great for mental health

In a 2012 study published in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management, researchers found there to be significantly higher stress levels in groups of solo participants compared with participants accompanied by their dogs. They also found that on dog-absent days, owner’s stress increased throughout the day, mirroring the pattern of the ‘no dog’ group.

Overall, employers and employees are discovering that pets in the workplace create a comfortable and flexible environment where the entire team are happier, less stressed and more trusting. This relaxed atmosphere and increased trust leads to better communication which is and all around win for mental health.

Woman walking dog out in nature

Walks are good for physical health and creativity

Many of us who work in offices end up attached to our computers for hours on end and while this may seem productive in the short term, it can actually have disastrous effects on our fitness and creativity. Humans were not designed to sit all day and stare at a screen and spending too much time too close to a project, problem, or other work can inhibit productivity and cause unnecessary stress. Pets, however, are the perfect excuse to get up regularly, providing an instant boost to your circulation and to your creative juices. Double bonus.

Small dog sitting in womans lap
Dogs are a fun way to engage and get social

Dogs in the workplace provide lots of social support for employees, as well as plenty of opportunities for coworkers to move around and interact in a positive setting, according to a number of studies. Pets can create camaraderie within the workplace and trigger interactions that may not have happened without them.

“You really wouldn’t have had the idea to work together, but because you struck up a conversation about the dog, you discover an opportunity that produces some synergy that wouldn’t have otherwise existed,” says Jennifer Fearing, the co-author of “Dogs at Work: A Practical Guide to Creating Dog-Friendly Workplaces.”

Dog lying on newspaper wearing glasses
Being pet-friendly improves your company image

About 62% of Australian households own pets, so becoming known as a pet-friendly business can do wonders for your customer’s perception of your organisation.

“Most customers have a positive response when they are offered a chance to interact with an employee’s pet, and it can help them to relax and enjoy their visit to the business. Having pets in the office also tends to soften the company’s image and makes a business seem more progressive and forward thinking,” notes Mary Hope Kramer, an animal expert.

Bulldog lying on the floor
Pet-friendly policies attract and keep top talent

The search for stellar employees is becoming increasingly competitive and if we revisit the stat that 62% of Australian’s are pet owners – this also means that the majority of Australian’s would benefit from joining a company who welcome dogs in the workplace.

Studies have shown that allowing employees to bring their pets to work mean that they don’t have to worry about rushing home to take them for a walk, or sometimes staying home and watching them if they are in need of some special attention. Consequently, fostering a fun environment where everyone is welcome leads to an increasingly dedicated team with fewer absences.

So, what are you waiting for? Every day is #TakeYourDogToWork day at CoWorkMe and we can’t wait to meet your newest employee. If you’ve yet to welcome a dog to your team, don’t worry, simply take a look at our @coworkme.aus feed – there is plenty of inspiration there!

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