What are the benefits of bringing your dog to work? Here are three ways dogs improve employee engagement and productivity.
You have an interview today. Not just any interview either. This is an interview for your dream job. Landing an opportunity such as this is key to demonstrating a consistent progression through the ranks of accounting leadership. Not only is this the perfect job with regards to the role’s responsibilities, the company also offers a wide range of fringe perks such as flex schedule, every Friday off in the summer, in-house dining, and bring your dog to work.
As you walk in the door, your palms begin to sweat. The reality of just how “big” this opportunity is begins to set in. Everything you coached yourself on during the car ride there has disappeared and the only thing you feel is the knot in your stomach growing every minute you sit in the waiting room.
As you grow more and more anxious, your interviewer’s door opens and you watch another candidate walk out. They are smiling and appear confident. As you put your head down to collect yourself you notice a dark brown shadow appear out of the corner of your eye. You look up and there’s a nose in your face. It’s a dog. More specifically, it is Lucy. As she comes to welcome you, her tail wags. It is as if she has never been more excited to meet someone. You are officially her new best friend and your anxiety about your interview begins to subside.
Lucy Burchard joined the Burchard & Associates team in March 2015. The proverbial “fur baby” of Ronda and Steve Burchard, Lucy is a 23 lb labradoodle and the company’s mascot. She even has her own fan club that stops by to say “hi” every day and gives her a treat. Generally, Lucy is the first friendly face you will meet as you walk into our doors. For many, she is common ground and a soft introduction to who we are as a company.
Why is Lucy so important to our company? As recruiters, our job is to assess professionals’ true personality, skill set, and career aspirations. We then utilize this information to create matches and provide informed recommendations to hiring managers. By nature, interviews with any employer or recruiter are stressful and people do not necessarily behave the way they normally would because of this. With Lucy in the room, we watch people relax and present their true selves.
Dogs are used in a variety of ways to reduce anxiety and improve mental health. From visiting sick patients at hospitals to serving as service dogs for the impaired, they are a form of comfort. Ironically, bringing your dog to work was only recently introduced to workplaces. So how does bringing your dog to work improve the workplace?
1. Dogs create stronger connections amongst employees.
In most medium to large workplaces, employees develop friendships with a very limited subset of their peers on a day to day basis. Why? They had no reason to “break the ice.” They may have brief discussions over the weather, but most often interactions are shallow.
When you allow your employees to bring their dogs to work, you give them a reason to speak with one another. Although not everyone loves dogs, everyone has a pet story they can relate to and talk about in length. Pets are a cornerstone of one’s personal life. When you bring your dog to work, employees introduce a component of their personal life to their professional life. It gives employees a reason to talk with one another and creates a familiar climate within the office.
2. Dogs reduce stress and anxiety.
Have you ever felt so stressed at work you had to walk away from your desk because after fifteen minutes of staring at your computer screen you still were not able to collect your thoughts? In today’s world, employees are asked to do a lot to meet the needs of fast-paced growing organizations. This means increased stress, anxiety, and reduced productivity.
“Studies going back to the early 1980s support the idea that dogs—and other pets—have enormous health benefits for people.”1 When employees are permitted to bring their dog to work, employees have a familiar comfort right there in the office. If they need to look away from their computer to recollect themselves, they can do so without getting up, walking around, and having distracting conversations with other employees. They have the five minute break they needed to relax, de-stress, and get back on track.
3. Dogs reduce distractions associated with homelife commitments.
It’s 5:00 PM and you have a mountain of paperwork sitting on your desk and thirty emails to get through before you are truly finished for the day. You genuinely want to stay and finish the work, but you know that your dog is at home and needs to be let out and fed. Ultimately you feel torn because your companion has spent the past nine hours alone. What do you do? You decide to head home and decide your work can wait until tomorrow.
Hardworking employees do not want to feel torn between their personal and professional commitments. Bringing dogs to work prevents one distraction caused by personal commitments. If they have their dog at work and are great employees, they can quickly take their dog for a walk and be more inclined to finish up their outstanding tasks before they leave for the day.
So, are you convinced yet? Before you say “no,” think about the benefits and how helpful a dog can be to those inside and outside your company. They may even be the reason why more work gets done in the office at the end of the day.
We hope you have enjoyed the latest Burchard & Associates blog! For more hiring and career advice, visit https://exechunter.com/hr-blog/. If you have questions or would like to learn more regarding our accounting and finance recruiting services, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.