What I learned taking my dog to work
Four months ago
Confessions of a canine convert
by Melissa Webber (with apologies to Shirley and Nixon)
“Can I bring my dog to work?”, asked a trusted, long-term employee many moons ago.
“Really!?!”, I thought to myself.
Who could possibly benefit from an arrangement of that kind, I wondered?
The dog? Admittedly I had very little experience with dogs, but didn’t dogs like to be outside all day?
The owner? How could you possibly get anything done if your actual pet was with you all day…and didn’t you want to get away from them anyway?
Me? I was trying to run a business and keep human staff and (mostly) human clients happy…how could having a dog around possibly be good for anyone?!?
Little did I know…
Fast forward twelve years. Having survived the toddler years twice over and smugly enjoying life with two boys who could take care of their own toileting (if not always with perfect aim), the thought of adding another untrained dependent to this equation was completely unappealing. However, I quietly caved into years of nagging from my little boy and bought him a puppy for his birthday.
After constant requests from my suspiciously eager team, I reluctantly brought the puppy to work one day and naturally assumed they were just pretending to like him (love him!) to make me happy. They seemed to maintain this façade every Friday for several months and he became a frequent subject in our @holycow_creative Instagram feed, usually strictly reserved for our latest design project, fun team events or casual cow content. It wasn’t until he started replacing my children in my personal Instagram feed that I knew something had changed…
*Having come across several articles about how dogs “improve productivity” and “reduce stress” in the modern-day workplace, I wanted to find out whether this was true or if it was just new-age propaganda designed by Millennials to frustrate their GenX overlords!
So I asked my team what they liked about having Bilbo (yes, The Hobbit) in the office.
Apart from him being photogenic and always trending on social media (#cavoodlesofinstagram, anyone?), I was told that he automatically makes everyone feel happy and decreases any stress in the office.
He also provides those who love dogs but can’t have one of their own with an ongoing relationship and regular contact without all the responsibility. He loves going for walks so he is also a great excuse for team members to get out of the office at lunchtime and stretch their legs and get some fresh air.
In addition, he is a ferocious and diligent guard dog, always ready to take down a courier or an unsuspecting Uber Eats delivery guy – absolutely crucial on the mean streets of Surry Hills.
He also gives the best cuddles whenever they are needed.
Now I am so proud of our furry-friendly workplace… would you believe it’s now even one of our values? So, while the benefits of having a studio dog are immeasurable (over and above high-performing social media posts), I think the greatest benefit of all has been how he has brought us all together.
The love he shares with us from the bottom of his little heart far outweighs any benefits he may bring to the bottom line.