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Why we think Office Dogs are important

Posted by Viola Vester
Employers today have to reinvent themselves every day in order to keep pace with the constantly evolving demands of a workplace. There are new and cool employers that raise issues such as work-life balance, employee benefit programs, flexible working hours and bringing your dog to the office not just as a trend but as a standard.
In this blog I want to take a closer look at the "bring your dog to the office" trend and give a little insight in why this is important to me and how Kiki and Nala became the first CHOs (Chief Happiness Officers) at LeanIX.


So why is bringing a dog to the office a good thing - or is it even? 

As with nearly every topic there are advocates and opponents to the whole „bring your dog to the office“ movement. Opponents often bring forward arguments like, not everyone is into dogs or there might be people that are allergic. Also, that bringing an animal will probably keep employees from doing their jobs and of course there is the problem that some landlords do not allow animals in office buildings. Those objections are definitely worth noticing and could be true for many organizations.
On the other hand though, many renown companies such as Zalando, Amazon or Glassdoor have a bring your dog/pet to work policy successfully implemented and swear that having animals in the office is improving not only the mood and performance of the dog owner, but really everyone in the office. It also helps increasing the health of especially dog owners but also colleagues, as regular walks with the dogs are required and therefore people have to actually get out and enjoy their breaks in the fresh air. 
Studies also show that having dogs in the office improves team work and how people interact with each other as well as reduce work-related stress.

Creating an environment that respects everybody's interests

Thus, my conclusion is, implementing a "bring your dog to work" friendly environment is totally the right thing to do (of course I would say so ;) I am a dog owner myself), BUT at the same time set up a basic set of rules to ensure everyone feels good about it. 

Why this topic matters to me

For me as a dog mum of two awesome dog ladies (Nala & Kiki), I can absolutely relate to why bringing your dog to work matters to so many dog owners. 
In my previous job I wasn’t able to bring the dogs to work, what resulted in a lot of planning and less flexibility in my working hours. And another thing I really like next to spending time with my two girls is getting things done while I am in the flow - no matter if this is in the early morning, the late afternoon or on the weekends. I love my job and I just want to be able to do it when I am most productive.
When I was in first discussions with LeanIX, I was asked what would be important to me to feel comfortable at work. And of course, the first thing that came to my mind was - bringing Kiki & Nala to the office! There were no dogs in the office then, but it already existed the idea to draft a "dogs in the office" policy and to allow them in the future. After some more talks, I was really excited to hear that LeanIX actually was moving forward with the policy.
The possibility to bring my dogs with me, without having to worry about how they are doing or who can look after them while I am working really made the difference for me. Kiki and Nala are now coming to work almost daily and are no longer the only Chief Happiness Officers at LeanIX.