When we moved our offices one of the prerequisites for me was to ensure wherever we ended up we would be allowed dogs in the office. While I hadn’t had my dog in the office before I was aware of the research that having a dog is great for staff morale but also helps improve productivity. Aware that a number of our staff have dogs I made it a pledge that I would secure the ability to have dogs, not quite realising what a task it would be. To make matters worse the team loved the idea and proceeded to talk about it continuously and tell friends and colleagues that we were going to allow dogs in the office.
For some reason Landlords in London are behind the times and every office we looked at said there was a no pet policy. Why might you ask? Well there is no good explanation for it apart from ‘we have always had one’. So when we finally settled on our office in South Bank Tower we had to work hard with the Landlord to secure a ‘Pet Licence’. The main concession was that we were only allowed one dog in the office at any one time – and hence our BYOD (Bring your own Dog) calendar was born!
Interestingly I got feedback from the Landlord that since writing the Pet policy for us, every single tenant signing into our building (we were one of the first tenants) have requested such a policy. So it looks like we just have to change the mind-set one Landlord at a time! Certainly while we now have the option we don’t have a dog in the office every day. On average we see dogs probably around a quarter of the time due to owners not needing to bring them in all the time.
Certainly one of the benefits I have got from it has been the need to regularly leave my desk and take Tiffin for a walk. I had him in the office all of last week and only suffered one accident – purely because I was too busy to take him out when he asked – also I am sure our fake grass area didn’t help!