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UK – What do Google, Amazon, Airbnb, Ben & Jerry’s, Nestle, Procter & Gamble, Monzo, Ticketmaster and Sound Marketing all have in common? You’d be right in saying that they are all highly successful companies, but the answer we were looking for is that they all have dog-friendly offices.
Percy the Puggle, an adorable cross between a Pug and a Beagle, is Sound Marketing’s newest recruit. Whilst he hasn’t exactly hit the ground running (he is prone to falling over his own feet), he has already demonstrated some very promising characteristics. His strong negotiation skills have been witnessed through the deployment of ‘puppy eyes’ when he decides it’s time to be released from his crate. He is very confident and proactive and has already overseen the delivery of a speaker system with lots of barks and sniffs by way of quality assurance. He’s also extremely marketable and has enjoyed meeting and impressing many clients (simultaneously stealing their hearts).
Whilst Percy acts as a great cuddle-break from work, the reason so many companies are switching to being dog-friendly is the overwhelmingly positive research into the benefits. Mental health at work is, with good reason, becoming a widely discussed topic, with 61% of people surveyed by charity SPANA feeling that their workplace could do more to support those with mental health issues. Research by The Mental Health Foundation maintains that dogs can help ease depression, loneliness, ADHD and autism, whilst ‘Happiful’ notes that the simple act of stroking an animal releases oxytocin, a ‘happy hormone’ that aids in relaxation. Consequently, an increasing number of workplaces are becoming dog-friendly in a bid to boost employee well-being.
One of the most influential pieces of literature in this area of study is the International Journal of Workplace Health Management, published by The Center for Human-Animal Interaction. They found that the presence of a dog helped to relieve stress levels, and contributed to greater job satisfaction for employees, regardless of whether they were the dog owner or not. In the report, Dr Barker also drew attention to dogs acting as a social lubricant, bringing together team members and minimising cases of employee isolation. As well as the mental well-being side, there are other huge benefits for these companies, in that they are not limiting their potential employee pool to those without dogs, or those who can afford care for them during working hours. Workers who are less likely to rush home to their dog are also more willing to work overtime to complete jobs to their maximum potential.
After acknowledging all these workplace benefits, managing director Steph Dell comments: “Having Percy in the office not only injects a high level of cuteness, but also helps with easing stress and anxiety levels. Taking regular short breaks to play with him helps reset the mind, improving focus levels and leading to increased productivity. He’s also a very calming influence; who could possibly be stressed with a Puggle asleep on their lap?”
Even John, Sound Marketing’s resident grouch, has been caught sneaking a glance at Percy, on one occasion letting him play with his shoelaces, and if John’s cold heart can warm even slightly to him, then the Puggle must be a winning addition. Follow @sound_marketing and @percy_puggle on Instagram to be kept up to date with Percy the Puggle’s adventures, and how he is settling into his new home.
30th January 2020
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