Site Meter

A Dog’s Life (at Work)

A Dog’s Life (at Work)

Every morning, Dougie Irvine goes for an hour’s run before he prepares for work and sets off on a half-hour walk to his Edinburgh city center office. Once there, tired from his exertions, he takes to his bed, lies on his back, sticks his feet in the air and dozes off for the rest of the day.

Fortunately, Dougie, a nine-year-old terrier cross, has no important matters to attend to. It is his owner, Jane Irvine, the Scottish Legal Services Ombudsman and chairman of the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission, who has to deal with the business of the day.

Dougie is one of those fortunate dogs across Britain who are not left behind when their owners go to work, but go with them. It is something that The Blue Cross animal welfare charity is keen to promote when it holds its 13th annual Take Your Dog to Work Day next Wednesday. Its aim is to encourage dog owners to spend more time with their pets by taking them to work every day and to experience the benefits of the practice – to themselves and those around them.

Also, as with the presence of dogs in other workplaces, it’s a great stress-buster. “I’m dealing with complaints all the time, which is stressful, so it just eases that,” says Jane. A survey carried out by The Blue Cross showed more than 90 per cent of employers who allowed dogs in the workplace noticed a positive change in the working environment. One in two found that there was a decrease in absenteeism, 67 per cent said it improved staff morale and 56 per cent discovered that work relations improved.

Yet, in spite of all the clear benefits of having animals in the workplace, Britain lags behind the US in making it a common practice. Some large companies, like Google, embrace the idea, but in England it is only small firms and animal-related businesses that permit it. In the US, one in five employers allows dogs at work and there is even a website for job-seekers (simplyhired.com) that lists employers who encourage it.

[Source: Telegraph.co.uk]