Doggie day lifts mood for city's workers
WORKPLACES around the city are being transformed into a pet-friendly paradise today as employees make the most of having their best mate stowed under the desk.
The national Bring Your Dog to Work Day aims to reap the rewards of several scientifically proven benefits of taking part.
Bringing your dog to work is proven to boost mood, increase team morale and is guaranteed to be your dog's favourite day. That's why, on the day, Petbarn are encouraging their in-store staff to bring their dogs into work.
The 2016 Petplan Pet Census report surveyed 10,000 people and showed only 23% of surveyed respondents take their pet to work.
Petbarn Ipswich store manager Amanda Matthew said there were a lot of facts to support having a dog in the office.
"Studies show that having access to a dog, whether it is your own or someone else's, has a calming influence and reduces stress levels," Amanda said.
"Playing with or petting an animal is shown to increase a person's levels of the stress reducing hormone oxytocin and decrease production of the stress hormone, cortisol."
Having a dog in the office also means workers are going to have to take them outside for regular bathroom breaks and a midday walk.
"While this may sound disruptive, taking breaks from your desk and getting some fresh air is a great way to reenergise and get those creative juices flowing," she said.
"A brisk lunchtime walk will help you have a more productive afternoon and keep you bright and alert well past the regular 3pm slouch."
There are also a number of physical health benefits from longer term exposure to pets if the inclusion of an office dog becomes more regular.
Being around pets is proven to strengthen the immune system, leading to fewer days off work and less visits to the doctor. Improved cardiovascular health is also a positive side effect of regular pet visits, with research showing that pets can help lower a person's blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
While the pros of having a dog in the office seem to outweigh the cons, there are several things to consider before bringing your dog to work.
"Ensure your office space is pet friendly with a separate space close to you for your dog, make sure there is nowhere they can fall down or escape, and check with your colleagues that they are willing to have a dog in the space," Amanda said.
"While you may be a dog lover, some people are allergic to various breeds or have had bad experiences with dogs so may not be comfortable with you bringing one in on the day."
Some tips from Petbarn Booval, Ipswich, Jindalee and Springfield to ensure a safe and happy Take your Dog to Work Day are;
Check with your boss, building manager and team ahead of June 22nd to ensure you can bring in your pooch for Friday.
Pack a day bag for your dog including their bed, blanket, water, snacks and a toy (that won't make too many sounds to annoy your team mates!). A baby gate may also be a good idea to secure an area for your pup.
Ensure your mobile number is on your dog's collar in case they take themselves for a little walk throughout the building and don't forget a lead.
Set reminders in your calendar every few hours to take your dog outside, even suggest a walking meeting so other members of the team can reap the benefits.