Five things a dog friendly employer understands

By George Francis, Account Director

Dog people and non-dog people. I think everyone in the entire world falls into one of these two camps. And, while a predisposition to pooches isn’t a pre-requisite for working at Clark, it certainly helps.

My own wee canine companion, Rosie (pictured), is an endless source of brightness and has proved a significant boost to my mental and physical wellbeing since she joined the family just over a year ago. She’s even inspired a few pieces of work along the way – including this blog.

When I found out both our Glasgow and Edinburgh offices were dog friendly it was, naturally, a massive bonus. More than that though, it told me a lot about the company I was joining.

Here are five things a dog friendly employer probably understands about its staff.

1. The business trusts its people

Clark trusts its staff to work effectively and flexibly, and dogs are part of that. In my experience staff are more productive when they are treated like adults and feel trusted to get on with their work, as opposed to feeling like their every move is being micromanaged and scrutinised. This goes for working well as a team too.

When it comes to the general approach and attitude to work, the company encourages us to model a set of behaviours based on trust and good communication. We’re all grown-ups and we’re all here for a reason. We’re trusted to get the job done.

A business that doesn’t trust its staff would not have a dog friendly office policy.

2. People have lives outside work

This may seem like an obvious one, but it’s often overlooked. The reality is, for most people, work is not the most important thing in their lives. The best businesses to work for recognise this and are flexible enough to be supportive when real life ‘gets in the way’. Medical appointments, childcare, public transport and the weather are all factors we need to deal with during the working day, but achieving a balance shouldn’t be difficult.

For me, knowing I can bring the pup to work with me means I don’t have to worry about juggling things if there’s an issue with dog care. That reduces stress outside of work and makes me more effective when it comes to the 9-5.

3. Inspiration and creativity come from many different places

Generally speaking, there is nothing less likely to inspire creativity than being in the comfort zone. And businesses that recognise this know a workplace that looks exactly the same every day can stifle creative success.

Now, I’m not suggesting there should be a surprise waiting in the office every day, but injecting something a bit different can help stir the creative juices quite nicely. For me, a dog trumps table tennis or a basketball hoop every day of the week.

4. Good mental health in the workplace is key to success

Stress, anxiety and pressure are never a good combination, especially in a creative workplace. A 2022 Deloitte reportshowed poor mental health costs UK employers £56 billion per year, so it’s a big issue.

According to therapy dog organisation, Moment to Paws, dogs in the workplace lower anxiety, reduce stress, stimulate communication, increase mental stimulation and provide emotional support. So, a dog friendly office is actually good for your health.

5. Offices can and should be fun places

According to a 2019 article from HR review, 81% of workers said pet-friendly offices make for happier workplaces. Who can argue with those numbers?

Seriously though, the idea of work being the black and white part of your life is something that should be well and truly consigned to the historical bin. Work doesn’t need to be some sort of endurance test and, shockingly, when people don’t dread going to the office, they tend to do their jobs better. There’s nothing wrong with being serious about your work while having a bit of fun at the same time.

There you have it – five reasons why a dog friendly office is a great idea. And, if you like the sound of it, maybe you should think about coming to work with us. I’ll even get Rosie to give you a special welcome.