Dogs in the workplace: a pawsome benefit

Magenta has come a long way since its early days at Managing Director Cathy Hayward’s kitchen table. Now in its sixth year with a growing team, we are settling into our new office and all the adaptions that change brings. In addition to new sit-stand desks, a private working booth and new break out area, we’re also embracing dog-friendly working in our new space.

The newest (canine) member of the Magenta team is Kipper – @kipperkingsley on Instagram, if you’re interested. Kipper has her own area in the office which includes her bed, toys, water and food, and she also has access to our sunny balcony for fresh air.

Aside from the occasional woof when the doorbell goes, she is behaving well and settling in nicely. And though I’m incredibly biased as her doting owner, it feels as though her presence is bringing with it many benefits.

Having a dog in the workplace has been proven to positively impact staff in a number of ways:

1) Dogs boost morale and reduce stress

Working in an office can have its trying moments and most of us regularly find ourselves needing a short distraction or mental pause. Playing with (Kipper recommends fetch) or simply petting a dog has been proven to increase levels of the stress-reducing hormone oxytocin and decrease the production of the stress hormone cortisol. A 2008 study in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management found that dogs have a calming influence at work and can reduce stress levels. Gemma Norris, Magenta’s newest team member and Account Executive agrees; “It’s hard to feel stressed with Kipper around.”

2) They encourage healthier activities

We’ve all heard that ‘sitting is the new smoking’ – being more active in the workplace is something that most businesses strive for. What’s more, the NHS advises that adults aged 19 – 64 need at least 150 minutes of exercise a week. By sharing the responsibility of poochy pee breaks and walkies among the team, or even creating a dog walking rota, it will encourage everyone to get some fresh air and exercise. Dogs (particularly dogs who enjoy being fussed and playing fetch) serve as a constant reminder to get up and stretch your legs or take some time away from the screen.


3) And healthier activities lead to creativity

Going for a walk is not just good for you physically, but mentally too. It allows your brain to relax and be inspired and it can boost creative thinking by as much as 60% compared to sitting. Senior Account Executive, Thomas Went says, “I get some of my best ideas when I give myself space to think and relax. Taking Kipper to the park for fetch at lunch is not only a great excuse for some fresh air and a chance to stretch my legs, but it lets me switch off a little and think more creatively.”

4) Dogs brings people together

An office dog can be an incredibly powerful bonding tool. Stephen Colarelli, a psychologist at Central Michigan University says of dogs in the workplace; “People are perceived as more friendly and approachable when a dog is present in the office. [Dogs are also] likely to increase cooperation and other positive behaviours among members of work groups.”

Kipper creates a talking point amongst the wider team and also for visitors too. Magenta’s stellar intern, Ollie Tunmore comments, “having a dog in the office creates a real sense of energy and fun. When I talk to my friends and family about work, I usually find myself giving them an update on Kipper too!”

5) No more home alone

It’s not just employees who benefit from dog friendly workplaces. Dogs don’t like to be left on their own for too long, so being able to bring them into the office is a real benefit for both dogs and owners. Kipper is certainly a much happier pup when she spends time with me and the rest of the team than when she has to stay home.

I’m very grateful to work for a dog-friendly employer and I know Kipper is too! Fancy working with us? We’re currently recruiting! Check out our latest vacancies here:

By Xenia Kingsley, Senior Account Manager – @Xen

Ben Keeley