The Dog Friendly Coworking Guide

Thank Dog It’s Friday – Dog Friendly Coworking

In early 2023 we made the decision to become even more inclusive and opened up our ‘paws’ to our canine companions.

What was the reason behind this I hear you ask? Well, we keep getting asked to!

Over the past few years, we’ve had a rise in enquiries asking if we are a dog friendly workspace and it’s always been something we’ve been considering. So this year we have decided to take the plunge and open that doggy door.

Every Friday going forwards, humans can buy a day pass which entitles them and their dog to utilise space in The Racquets Court. We do, of course, have some rules:

  • be friendly – good boys and girls only please!
  • be respectful – since we are a workspace, dogs (and their owners) are reminded to stay together and be mindful about what each other are doing
  • be clean – keep the space nice for other users and clean up after yourselves
  • be calm – barking or hyper dogs are not good for productivity

Our full terms and conditions can be found here

What are the benefits of a dog friendly office?

According to Dogs Trust, dogs shouldn’t be left alone for more than four hours. Now obviously, not all dogs are the same, but as a general rule of thumb, it does make sense. A dog left alone for too long can struggle with separation anxiety which can lead to injury to themselves and household destruction, which no one wants.

On the flipside, working from home full time does give your dog the social interaction they crave, but is it the right option for you?

Bringing your dog into the office can have many benefits.

It’s cheaper

69% of dog owners underestimated the cost of owning a dog according to Paws and Presto. Providing your dog doesn’t trash the office, having them with you during the day can actually save you money.

If you choose to leave your dog at home, there are various things to consider which can end up costing you money such as:

  • Do you leave the heating on for them?
  • Do you have to leave the radio or TV on for them?
  • Do they have access to enough food & water?
  • Are they in a part of the house where they will a) feel comfortable and b) cause the least amount of damage?
  • Will they need to relieve themselves while you’re out?

One option is to hire a dog walker to pop in while you’re out. The average cost for this is approximately £11.25 per walk which soon adds up if you’re doing this multiple times a week. Another option is doggy day care which can range from £20-£30 per day.

As we all know, all dogs are different, so there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Some dogs aren’t office dogs. As someone who has had several dogs in my lifetime, one or two of mine certainly wouldn’t have been happy in the office and others would have been perfectly suited.

It improves morale & reduces stress

A few different studies have shown that when owners are allowed to bring their dog into the office, their morale improves. Leaving dogs at home obviously can cause stress for the animal, but can also cause stress for the owner. Often they are worrying about their pet, having to rush home at lunch time or the end of the day to walk them, worrying about the cost of day care, worrying about the dog being lonely and/or damaging their home.
Lets face it, dogs can also be really funny. Having dogs in the workplace can lighten the mood which helps create a more relaxed atmosphere AND can increase oxytocin levels which is the hormone that reduces stress.

It helps with staff retention

According to a recent study by Julie Naismith, the UK leading dog separation anxiety expert and author, 54% of people said they would consider quitting their jobs if their employers banned their dog from the workplace. Employees are less likely to look for new jobs if they are happy and secure in their current one. We’ve already talked about how having dogs around can reduce stress and improve morale so this is a good way to ensure you are looking out for their best interests and listening to their concerns about their pets being left alone.

Newcastle is also a very dog friendly city so there are plenty of places you can go after work for team outings and encourage your team to bring their pooch along. Check out this guide to dog friendly places to eat.

Improves productivity

Many of us end up skipping breaks because we feel the building pressure to complete tasks, however this is counter productive. Skipping breaks can lead to burnout and creates a negative atmosphere. According to Michigan State University, breaks can improve focus and productivity which, in the end, results in increased job satisfaction.
We also know that taking a walk outside is a great way to improve your physical and mental health. This allows you to get some fresh air, burn calories, strengthen your heart, boost energy, boosts your mood and has so many other health benefits. Having your dog with you in the office will help remind you to take these vital breaks as you’re more likely to take them if your dog is also showing signs of needing to go out.

Makes life easier

Putting it simply, being able to bring your dog to the office with you just makes life much easier. Even if you don’t intend to do it all the time, or if you suddenly have a change in circumstances that means no one will be able to walk your dog that day, having the option to bring your dog with you is a weight off your mind. The above study showed that 42% of pet owners have called in sick to take care of their pets, so lets remove the barriers.

You know your dog is safe, happy and you’ll be able to get your work done. It’s a win-win!

Improves relationships

62% of households in the UK have pets. They are a huge part of our society and give feelings happiness and companionship for owners. We bond over our pets: past, present and future. Personally I know people are far more likely to talk to me if I’m with my dog than they would otherwise. The same is true in the office. In places like Coworking spaces, having your pet with you can be a massive ice-breaker and help you expand your network and contacts, purely through the initial interaction over your dog.

What about the downsides?

Well, we have to be fair here, there are downsides of having dogs in the office as well. These can include dogs causing damage, people being fearful or allergic to dogs, worrying that the dog won’t settle well and cause disruptions. This is why we have opted to have a dedicated day per week to being dog friendly. This allows those who don’t want to be around dogs have space away from them and allows us to deep clean after Thank Dog It’s Friday so the office is pristine again ready for Monday. We also have a number of measures in place to make sure we are taking care of both the humans and the dogs in the workspace which will be reviewed regularly. And obviously, we are relying on you to do your part as well by:

  • Respecting the rules we have in place
  • Only bringing dogs in on TDIF
  • Respecting your coworkers and other members in the building and their preferences
  • Ensuring you have brought the items your dog needs to have a peaceful day in the office
  • Take full responsibility for your own dog

If you do have any concerns, you can speak to a member of our team here

If you’d like to buy a day pass for Thank Dog It’s Friday, click the button below and purchase your day pass. Once you have your pass, you can select any Friday to redeem it and simply check your pass in!

Thank Dog It's Friday