Kiri is a digital journalist for bayofplentytimes.co.nz.

Working his own(er's) hours

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He's furry, small and very well behaved, and possibly not what you expect when you walk into Tauranga MP Simon Bridges' office.

Baz is a nine-year-old miniature schnauzer who often comes to work at the Devonport Rd office with owner Maree Brookes.

Ms Brookes, who works as Mr Bridges' assistant, said Baz has been coming to work with her since he was eight-weeks old.

''He absolutely loves it,'' she said.

''He's never had a full eight-hour day at home by himself, all alone.''

Pets in the office are officially being celebrated throughout New Zealand today as part of an annual Pets at Word Day.

Ms Brooke's husband often works from home but when he is away, Baz joins Ms Brookes in the MP's electoral office.

''I work for the MP and we get people here who are often quite distressed. By the time they get to see us, they can be a little angry or upset,'' Ms Brookes said.

''Put a dog in the situation and it takes everything down to a good level. He likes his back being scratched, and they get to pat him.''

Ms Brookes said Baz did not shed hair, so was great for any one suffering from allergies. And if anyone was concerned or did not like dogs, Baz was small enough to be shut into an office with a baby gate.

''Its' very easy with a dog that's small and doesn't shed and is lazy. He's as happy as Larry.''

Mr Bridges agreed.

''I think it's fantastic,'' he said.

''(My wife) Natalie has from time to time taken our little dog to work as well and I'm very encouraging of it, where it's appropriate.''

Mr Bridges said Baz helped create a happy atmosphere.

''Having a really well behaved dog, I think, helps the feng shui of the place.''

A survey commissioned by pet food Purina found 85 per cent of office workers were not allowed pets at work but of those, 25 per cent would like a change in the rules.

The survey also found that people who bought a pet to work smiled more often, were friendlier and got along better with their colleagues.


Pets in work

- Almost 7 in 10 people already working in a pet friendly office believe pets positively impact their workplace

- On any given day 11 per cent of all pet friendly office workers had a dog on site compared to only 5 per cent that had cats

- People who bought their pets into work smiled more (51 per cent), were friendlier (43 per cent), felt more relaxed (39 per cent) and interact more with their colleagues (33 per cent)

- People not working in pet friendly offices indicated that the key benefit of having pets in the office was that then pets wouldn't be left at home (54 per cent). However workers from pet friendly offices said the key benefit was that it reduces stress (47 per cent)

Source - Purina

- Bay of Plenty Times

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