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Pets in the Workplace – Meet Dolly!

Posted by Ron Neal on Tuesday, January 12th, 2016 at 12:51pm.

There is a new arrival at the office of Ron Neal and The Neal Estate Team at RE/MAX Alliance Victoria … meet Dolly! Dolly is fifteen pounds of Brindle French bulldog and she is very happy to meet you. In fact, she’s become an integral part of our RE/MAX Alliance family and her owner, Jamie, explains the difference she makes in a work day:

“She spends her days in our office at RE/MAX Alliance bringing smiles to faces, she turns moments of frustration into deep breaths with the wiggle of her bum when she sneaks into people’s office unexpectedly for a quick back scratch. From time to time she unexpectedly greets our clients and to their surprise they find themselves smiling too.”

This positive effect jives with several studies that demonstrate the advantages of dogs in the workplace including higher levels of job satisfaction, lower levels of stress throughout the workday (as measured by levels of Cortisol, the “stress hormone”), a more positive perceptions of employers, and increased inter-employee cooperation. In addition, people often get to know each other better through the connection of their pets. As summed up by Randolph Barker, a business professor at Virginia Commonwealth University where one study was conducted, “It’s a low cost wellness benefit.”

In a study conducted by Barker at Virginia Commonwealth University, researchers separated workplace participants into three groups: employees that brought their dog to work, employees that had a dog but didn’t bring them to work, and employees that did not own a dog. Predictably, the lowest levels of stress were in those employees that brought their dogs to work while the highest levels of stress were found in employees that owned dogs but did not bring the animal to work. This points to a relationship between productivity and positive feelings, and work environments in which pet owners are allowed to be with their animals during the day. Employees who have the company of their pets in their place of work are more contented, and may be in less of a rush to leave for home at the end of the day given that their pet is well cared for and has had the opportunity to be with people all day long.

Jamie has had the support of Ron and Team in her decision-making process, and notes that “after an honest conversation with myself, my co-workers, and my boss everything fell into place and I honestly could not have done it without their support in making this big decision.” If this is something you might like to experience in your workplace, consider some basic guidelines for including a dog in the workplace (adapted from “Cesar,” a well-known professional dog trainer):

  • Direct and show the dog where it’s “place” in the office is. This helps the dog to know that it has a safe place and that it doesn’t own the whole office.
  • Consider carefully the personality of the dog. If it tends to bark upon meeting new people, if it is aggressive at all, or if it is excessively attention seeking … the dog may not be a good candidate for sharing a workplace.
  • The goal will be to have the dog under control at all times. This may require a little extra work with a trainer if you and your dog aren’t there yet.
  • Consider a baby gate if the dog is going to be off leash.
  • Exercise your dog before the workday begins.
  • Dogs at work should be given breaks just like humans are. Play is an important part of a dog’s day.
  • Provide things for your dog to do during the day. Some dogs are sleepier than others. For busy dogs, toys and treats will be an important way to help them manage.
  • Always provide water and snacks.
  • Check in with staff members regularly to find out how they are feeling about the animal in the workplace. Provide an opportunity for honest sharing and collaborative problem solving.
  • Employees with pet allergies may truly suffer if an allergenic animal is introduced to the work environment; this is an important consideration.
  • As an employer the benefits are clear, and one benefit you may not have considered is the effect of welcoming clients or customers who have well-behaved pets to bring them in when they are coming to an appointment. It means they don’t have to leave their own pets at home to visit your establishment. And it can be a source of fun and also camaraderie.


Come pay Dolly and our team a visit at RE/MAX Alliance Victoria !


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The Neal Estate Team

The Neal Estate Team is your #1 source for all of your Victoria BC real estate needs. Get in touch with us online or by phone at (250) 386-8181 to speak with a Victoria real estate buying or selling expert today. With decades of experience as a top selling Victoria REALTOR® and ranked in top 1% globally with over 4,000 transactions and $1 Billion SOLD, Ron Neal & The Neal Estate Team have the industry experience and market knowledge to help you make smart and informed buying or selling decisions. 

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