By Matthew Neylon, Associate Copywriter
Bring Your Best Friend To Work Day would never fly. First you’re posed with the decision of assigning your best friend and possibly burning a few bridges along the way. Then you have to decide who’s the friend and who’s bringing the friend to work. Then once you get to work, you probably wouldn’t get much work done. Depending on the person, you would get distracted, probably crack some NSFW (not safe for work) jokes and even entertain the idea of skipping work early so the two of you can hit the town.
That’s why there isn’t such a thing as Bring Your Best Friend To Work Day. Unless, your best friend happens to be man’s best friend.
Take Your Dog To Work Day happened this year on June 20th. Offices all over the world opened their doors to our furry friends. Before, workspaces only saw the likes of blue collars and white collars. Now offices are seeing more dog collars.
Companies that allow dogs in their offices year-round include Google, Amazon, Etsy, Ben & Jerry’s and Salesforce. Add Hirons to that happy list.
Now let’s take a look at companies that don’t allow dogs in their offices: Dunder Mifflin (The Office), Initech (Office Space) and Springfield Nuclear Power Plant (The Simpsons). Michael Scott, Bill Lumbergh and Mr. Burns would notice the difference in happiness and productivity levels if they allowed dogs alongside their miserable employees.
Studies show that employees who bring their dogs to work report higher levels of work satisfaction and lower levels of stress. However, the facts aren’t just a comparison between TV and real-life companies.
Research from Virginia Commonwealth University shows that simply having a dog nearby can lower a person’s blood pressure and heart rate. That’s a byproduct of that calming, happy feeling you get from oxytocin. Oxytocin—the “trust hormone”—is the same hormone released when mother’s breastfeed. It’s the hormone that allows us to love, trust and form relationships.
So in a way, dogs allow us to simply be human. That’s a good thing too, since research gathered from common sense shows that humans generally make good employees.
As I write this, one of our associate art directors, Luke, just brought his dog into the office. One year-old Rosie, a German Shepherd-Hound mix, has a lot to learn from Hank, our veteran Golden Retriever. Like how to take long naps and comfort the creatives when they get a little stressed.
As the two pups play together, you can just feel the tangible happiness in the air. Dogs just make everything better.
Those who own dogs appreciate knowing that they help us stay cool and collected. They remind us not to take things too seriously. They remind us that everything, in fact, will be OK.
Even those who don’t own dogs can appreciate the benefits of dogs in the office. In addition to lowering our stress levels and raising work satisfaction, dogs provide what some office resources sometimes just can’t. Dogs provide unconditional love and social support. They provide affection and contact that would otherwise go unseen in office spaces.
Dogs also hold us accountable. They make us take breaks every now and then; whether its stretching our legs and relieving some stress, or stretching our legs and relieving their bladder.
Dogs are good for the office. They remind us to care, something that is usually forgotten between the hours of 9am to 5pm.
And so, until we can find a way to make Bring Your Best Friend To Work Day happen, man’s best friend will be top dog in the office friend category.