It’s begun. An increasing number of employers are starting to encourage workers to come back into the office after a year of working from home.
Yet, there’s one major hurdle in the way: Our beloved pups have grown used to our constant company.
After a year of WFH and being able to take our dogs for lunchtime walks, we're struggling to get our heads around the idea of leaving them at home every day.
It seems we’re not alone in this sentiment. New research from pet wellness experts Itch has found that one in 10 Brits would consider quitting their job if their dog isn’t allowed in the workplace.
The researchers also found that people are adapting their working style to accommodate their pets, with 45% changing their working hours to spend more time with their dog.
Nearly a third of dog owners (28%) want to take their pup into the office with them - and there could actually be some mental health benefits in doing so.
Jodie Rogers, author of The Hidden Edge: Why Mental Fitness is the Only Advantage that Matters in Business, tells Yahoo UK: “The presence of a dog in the workplace has been linked to lowering blood pressure and providing a greater sense of safety and confidence. Allowing pets also creates a clear employees-first culture.”
Rogers says taking your dog into work can also help open communication and trust across teams, giving employees “permission to form emotional bonds and to prioritise.”
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“Dog walks can force overachievers to take a necessary break,” Rogers continues.
“The added benefit of a few extra walks during the day means improved health and more idle time - which is where all the magic happens for creating and problem-solving.”
If you do want to take your dog into work, it’s best to first check with HR to see whether or not dogs are permitted. Then discuss it with your manager and co-workers to make sure no one has allergies or objections.
If your company doesn’t allow dogs, dog behaviourist Oli Juste recommends finding a dog walker who can take your dog out for a walk and exercise during the day or speaking to your manager about a flexible working arrangement that can work for you both.
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