Why man’s best friend is your agency’s too

Image for Elise Bailey-Probert By Elise Bailey-Probert

Keeping our toes warm under the desk, our four-legged friends have been at our side through lonely lockdowns and, much to their delight, helped us escape the four-walls for regular walkies. Little did they know, this was not to last forever. Adapting to the return to work looked different for everyone, but what better comfort than the reassurance that you can bring the best part of your home office with you…

Many agencies have welcomed dogs from day one. Whether the team follows a ‘ruff’ rota to aid doggy day care struggles, or you enjoy the company of a resident office dog all week, for many there is no such thing as a happy workplace without them. The freedom that such pet-friendly policies allow promotes a healthy work-life balance whereby individuals don’t feel they have to sacrifice one for another, without the guilt of leaving their hounds at home but confidence in their bosses as understanding and compassionate leaders.

Growing awareness surrounding the importance of mental health has seen many take action to prioritise the wellbeing of their teams and re-focus their values. And there’s a reason why ‘office pooch’ is listed in the perks of a job role. Firstly, there is nothing quite like being greeted by wagging tails and ear-to-ear grins. Dogs in the office are said to boost morale, alleviate stress and enhance team chemistry and communication. The work of therapy dogs confirms this as research shows just 10 to 15 minutes of interaction lowers heart rate and blood pressure by roughly 10%, reducing anxiety and increasing those super important happy hormones! They’re also very cute and make great barketing assistants for Instagram content… especially when it means treats.

Attracting and retaining talent goes hand in hand with agency culture. Yes, a dog-friendly office can be the difference that levels up your recruitment game. First impressions do count, and your four-legged team members can be just the reason people choose you and choose to stay. A recent survey uncovered that almost half of 18- to 24-year-olds revealed they would be more willing to apply to a role that allowed dogs in the office and it’s no surprise why. Individuals that can easily recognise a place of work that prioritises the mental wellbeing and happiness of their employees are more likely to want to work with them, for them or recommend them to others. Welcoming new ideas such as office dogs is a small but significant step to show who you are and what you stand for.

It’s a well-known fact that regular breaks improve productivity and performance. Daytime walks and playtime mean you can actually step away from your desk and feel the benefit with the added bonus of fresh air and physical activity. A refreshed headspace encourages a more positive approach to the day’s to-do list and plenty of smiles across a team who feel happy and supported in their job roles.

A great agency has its people at its heart. And the sense of community, bonding and social interaction that dogs so effortlessly provide complements an environment that values just that – a collaborative and open team dynamic. They just bring people together. Of course, the added entertainment that a playful pooch, just crazily happy to be here (and especially with you), brings to a Monday morning makes the occasional barking at delivery drivers and those noisy squeaky toys totally worth it.

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