Office dog confessions
When moving our office to Raleigh, we gained a number of perks along with the location. These include shorter commutes, a vibrant food and pub scene, bigger workspaces and – perhaps the best bonus – being able to bring our dogs to the office with us every day! A recent trend with many companies, allowing dogs in the workplace is becoming more common; however, amidst all the excitement there are a few nuggets of wisdom to note when having Fido join the office. Here are the 10 things no one tells you about bringing a dog or two into work.
You WILL trip over their toys
To give yourself time to focus on work, your dog will need a few toys to keep amused and preoccupied. Yes, dog toys will be strewn across all corners of the office and you're bound to tread on them. You will inevitably step on a random antler or knotted rope toy and a good way to combat this issue is by establishing "play zones" where the dogs commonly chew on bones and leave their toys. Another method is by training your office pups to clean up after themselves using a toy box.
Need something to spice up your workday? Glance up from your computer every once and a while to catch a glimpse of a freshly-napped dog now bounding around the room with loads of excess energy. These little spurts do wonders to boost morale within the office.
Balance makes the office go 'round
Alternating the types of canine personalities is the key to scheduling what days certain dogs pay the office a visit. In our case, there's Otis the chill dog and Lloyd the fun dog. What Otis brings by being sweet, watchful and mild-mannered, Lloyd matches with bountiful energy and a ton of laughs as both our resident bad boy and class clown. The balance of their personalities works well within our office for certain days of the week.
Silent in-meeting farts are lethal
Nothing smells worse than a dog fart, especially the ones that sneak up on you while in the middle of a meeting or client call. Literally, there is no worse fate than being trapped in the conference room during this situation. Whenever possible, try to take your pooch out for a quick bathroom break before going into a long meeting or call. This should minimize at least a couple of distractions that could pop up over the course of your hour-long meeting.
Who are walks really for?
When you've been cooped up inside the office all day, you welcome any reason at all to go outside. It may not be long before you find yourself more excited for a walk than the dog. There's nothing wrong with that as long as you make sure you remain productive throughout the day. Don't be that person who always wants to take a dog break and then inevitably ends up scrambling to finish their tasks at the end of the day. Instead, take turns letting other people walk the office dog over the course of the day and week.
No matter how good the doggo, keep a Lysol wipe on deck
Dogs are dogs and sometimes through excitement, illness (or by eating too much bark from the artificial plants), accidents do happen. In these cases, as long as you have the proper cleaning supplies and are willing to put in a little elbow grease, everything should be fine.
You'll come to love the emotional support dog you don't have to take home
All the love and fun you get from the office dog may be exactly what you need to get through the workday, but the feeling of leaving the office and not having to feed, walk or administer monthly flea and tick protection is simply priceless. Within the confines of the office, having a dog around can be incredibly beneficial from both a mental and productivity standpoint. A number of recent studies have observed lower stress responses in employees when there are dogs present compared to when they are absent. So enjoy the benefits of an office pup as well as the feeling of zen in not having to care for said dog once you log off for the day.
Petty La-pooch is totally a thing
Even the sweetest of dogs can occasionally be a little fresh at times. Don't allow your office dogs to take over the entire space. This happens in a number of ways. The dog might be annoyed at the lack of attention and may seek it out by going into your trash can and then proceed to shred its contents across the floor. The dog may also hit you with the "puppy eyes" and beg you for a snack but won't show you any love until after you've shared some food. In either case, don't give in to Petty La-pooch! Make sure they abide by your office rules and if not, be ready to administer some sort of consequence. This could be a timeout in a room away from everyone else or all toys being put away for a set period of time.
Their noses will be all up in your business at all times
Face it – dogs are nosey. Don't be surprised if you look down and find a dog all up in your purse or work bag. It's bound to happen but if it bothers you or you fear the dog may get into your secret stash of chocolates, don't be afraid to politely shoo them away. No matter where the dog is, they should respect your rules and your belongings.
Sometimes new, surprising behaviors develop in the office setting
Whenever you put a dog into a new environment, there can be a bit of an adjustment period for the animal. Being in an office space can mean a lot of new sights and sounds that may be foreign to a dog accustomed to just sitting at home all day. Don't feel too thrown off if your usually quiet dog begins barking at every new visitor or makes an odd habit of always sitting on one particular chair. These new behaviors should be taken as natural growing pains, so continue to reinforce your office rules and standard obedience training and your pup should settle into your new office digs nicely.
No matter how you slice, it having Fido in the office can make for quite an interesting workday for better or for worse; however, ask anyone around the office and we all agree that we wouldn't trade our K-Pups for the world. So here's to the furry, four-legged members of our team — the office dogs!