Categories
Writing Workshop

The birth of the modern office dog

Dog is man’s best friend. Unfortunately, many dog owners have to leave their best friend home alone while they are at work all day. So why not just take the dog to work? The idea of a dog at work is gaining ground in more and more offices. Well-known companies such as Google, Amazon, Xing or Jimdo have long advocated the concept of dogs at work (cf. Bundesverband Bürohund, 2019). The following points show that not only the lonely dog is helped. It also brings advantages to the employees in the office.

An office dog reduces stress. When petting the dog, the hormone oxytocin is released. This hormone is also produced, for example, between mothers and their newborns. It increases the binding between each other and lowers blood pressure. Furthermore, it’s helpful in reducing the stress hormone cortisol (cf. Weitekamp, 2019). The main reason for mental illnesses is individually felt stress. Play breaks or walks with the dog provide for regular movement. It also brings variety during work. Automated sequences are interrupted in the work routine. In addition, it helps to reduce stress and prevent diseases such as depression. Employees in the company generally remain healthier. The low rate of absenteeism reduces health costs in the company. In addition, the lower number of sick days means that no work is lost. It therefore offers an advantage for employees and companies alike. An office dog also has a positive effect on the image of the company. Public relations work can be designed around the pet. Contributions on social media platforms such as Facebook or Instagram can be made more interesting (cf. Ibid.).

Ben Williams said: “There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face” (goodreads, no date). Of course, you shouldn’t just take your faithful four-legged friend into the office without permission. Not everyone loves dogs. Employees could see them as a disturbance and distraction. Others might have allergies. In order not to present the colleagues with a fait accompli, the idea should be discussed beforehand. Furthermore, management must grant permission in advance. Good animal training is also important. This helps to avoid conflicts between humans and dogs. Owners must also pay attention to the dog’s stress signals. So that the dog can also sometimes come to rest, it needs a retreat place in the office. These and further conditions must be discussed before in the group of colleagues (cf. Bundesverband Bürohund, 2019). BVBH, Bundesverband Bürohunde e.V., helps to integrate the beloved dog into everyday office life by means of seminars, among other things.

From my point of view, an office dog is a form of “New Work”. The working world is changing. The workplace should also change. Especially in times of widespread diseases like burnout, I think it is important to reduce stress at work. In my mind, a dog relaxes the working atmosphere. Play breaks and walks during breaks also provide exercise for employees. This is often missed out in daily working life. In addition to the advantage for employees, taking the dog along to work also has a positive effect on him. Dogs no longer sit alone for hours and are bored at home. In addition, contact with other employees increases social competence. As long as the dog has enjoyed a good training and clear limits are set, I support the concept of office dogs.

Sources:

Bundesverband Bürohund. Bürohund Vorteile für Unternehmen. Bundesverband Bürohund e.V.. 2019, http://bv-bürohund.de/vorteile-von-buerohunden/beispielhafte-unternehmen-mit-buerohund/

Weitekamp, Lea. Der Wau-Effekt: darum solltet ihr über einen Bürohund nachdenken. yeebase media GmbH. 2019, http://bv-bürohund.de/vorteile-von-buerohunden/buerohund-vorteil-fuer-unternehmen/

Williams, Ben. Quotable Quote. Goodreads, Inc. No date, https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/18012-there-is-no-psychiatrist-in-the-world-like-a-puppy