I sat down with FaultFixer's joint heads of well-being to discuss their role in our team and the continued role of mental health as we emerge from lockdown measures here in the UK. Unfortunately, Arthur fell asleep at his desk/cushion and Na'ila wandered off to explore the neighbouring office's lunch options, but at least the thought was there.
Hard at work - Arthur (left), Na'ila (right)
Na'ila is nine months old, very young to reach a coveted Head Of position, and Arthur is the more experienced of the two, being in place for nearly two years. Both are cocker spaniels. We've found that having office dogs creates a less stressed, friendlier environment whilst maintaining focus. Dogs in the office have been linked to greater trust amongst team members and there is a positive oxytocin cycle in dog-human interactions. Behaviour in groups where dogs were present was rated more cooperative, active and attentive by those watching on. Outside the office, dog ownership has been linked to improved mental health, especially in dealing with PTSD and depression. We are aware some are not comfortable with office dogs and we inform potential recruits early in the interview process and have a non-dog section of the office.
A fraught team meeting
Evidence from the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health suggests that pets provide a source of social support, something you’d usually get from friends or family and that the movement towards dog-friendly offices is growing. This is especially driven by the big American tech companies, which have built many of their big West Coast campuses with dogs in mind. Amazon and Google’s early history was dominated by dogs in the office, which is borne out in their current policies. Early proponents were also Mars and Nestlé, complimenting their pet food brands.
"Arthur has been co-Head of Wellbeing at FaultFixers for some time now, and I must say he is doing an excellent job; it’s a real testament to the rigorous recruitment processes we run, which we’ve developed to be a pretty tough, dog-eat-dog process, with zero nepotism whatsoever." - Tom, CEO (& Arthur's dad)
Her first corporate headshot
"I'm incredibly proud of what Na'ila's achieved in her short time at the company and will be watching her career with interest. I was shocked when she was hired so young but I can see now that she was a natural fit for the role." - Frankie, Marketing Lead & Na'ila's "dog mum"
All individuals mentioned in this piece solely received treat-based remuneration for their time. If you would like to book either of our Heads of Wellbeing for speaking or walking engagements, please contact email@example.com.
Meet the dogs of Amazon (aboutamazon.com)
Why Silicon Valley has embraced the ‘office dog’ | Financial Times (ft.com)
Amazon's At-Work Pet Population Soars to Over 7,000. 800 Come Daily. | Fortune
IJERPH | Free Full-Text | Dogs in the Workplace: A Review of the Benefits and Potential Challenges (mdpi.com)
Paws for thought: why allowing dogs in the office is a good idea | Work & careers | The Guardian
A Companion Dog Increases Prosocial Behavior in Work Groups: Anthrozoös: Vol 30, No 1 (tandfonline.com)