Fish4Dogs – which has one canine colleague to every four of its human workers – is supporting other workplaces in how to become dog-friendly with a free downloadable booklet to guide them through the process.
The premium pet food company, which is a keen supporter of Bring Your Dog To Work Day on 21 June, has between 11 and 20 dogs at its offices, near Drowich, Worcestershire, everyday throughout the year.
‘Canine Colleagues – Your guide to creating a dog-friendly workplace’ has been produced to share the benefit of its experiences, outlining the benefits of having dogs in the office and how to prepare and manage four-legged newcomers to the work environment.
Fish4Dogs has welcomed dogs at its offices since it was established in 2004 but as the company grew, so did the need to formalise arrangements so that all members of the team had suitable guidelines.
It has established the pastoral role of ‘Dog Mother’ to look after the needs of the office dogs and their owners, alongside workers without their pets in the workplace, to address any issues that may arise.
Jo Little, Head of Marketing, is one of the Dog Mothers, and has outlined her top tips for having happy dogs in the office. These include establishing a ‘best practice’ framework and consulting staff in order to establish a considerate way of working.
“You can’t have dogs in an office environment and still work effectively without guidelines. We considered a whole raft of issues such as socialisation, animal welfare, health and safety, hygiene and workflow to formulate key guidelines which are given to every new member of staff,” she said.
“For the owners, it’s much nicer to be able to bring your dog to work but being a dog-friendly workplace also has benefits for the organisation as a whole. It’s great for team-building and morale, having the dogs there reduces stress and encourages us to exercise, ensuring that the dogs get regular toilet breaks and lunchtime walks .”
The free booklet is available to download via http://www.fish4dogs.com/caninecolleagues and Fish4Dogs social media channels.