Regan Schoultz is an NZME news service reporter based in Auckland.

Work's going to the dogs after holidays

Colenso staff member Tessa O'Rorke finds treats for Miss Indie and Alfie the labrador. Photo / Michael Craig
Colenso staff member Tessa O'Rorke finds treats for Miss Indie and Alfie the labrador. Photo / Michael Craig

Feeling the back-to-work blues after the Christmas holidays? The cure may be as simple as taking your pet to work with you.

According to SPCA chief executive Andrea Midgen, bringing a pet to work may be the best way to ease back into a busy work routine after returning to the office.

"I guess it depends on whether you believe in post-holiday blues. I do and I think people find them quite hard, especially if they have had quite a decent break, to get back into it so having a loved part of the family always helps," she said. "A companion has a calming impact on people so it is a great way to get back to work in the new year."

In a bid to beat the post-holiday blues employees of Auckland company Clemenger Group have done just that.

IT specialist James Wylie said having his 6-month-old dog Lachie, a miniature labradoodle, at work had made the transition much easier.

"It is a great option to be able to bring him to work, otherwise he just stays at home and it is a long time for a puppy to be alone. It has been good from both my side and Lachie's to have him here."

Colenso project manager Maria Bjorkman said her golden labrador Alfie "[cures] the everything blues".

"Just to have one dog in the office is good for everyone," she said.

Proximity account manager Tessa O'Rorke said her dog, Miss Indie, was known as "the stress manager" around the office.

"Having her here is really good for morale. It is good for everyone. You walk around the building with her and they stop, they smile, they pat the dog. She always makes people smile."

SPCA chief scientific officer Arnja Dale said a study was planned to look at the benefits of having pets in the workplace. A start date had not been decided but it was hoped the results would encourage more organisations to allow the practice.

"It would be looking at the benefits to the animals and the people and key messaging around ensuring the welfare of the animals in the workplace."

Ms Dale said "as long as they are responsible" allowing pets in the workplace was a "really positive experience".

"From an employer's view productivity and distraction levels are potentially a factor. However, all the research that has been done on this has indicated there has been an increase in productivity and a reduction in stress. So overall in the balance you would anticipate that most workplaces in theory, based on the research, may be open to this."

Pets at work

• Make sure you have an area with a bed or something they can sleep on set up for them.

• Provide chew toys and other items for them to play with while you work.

• Make sure to give them regular toilet breaks throughout the day.

• Make sure they have enough food and water.

• Don't forget the poop bags.

- NZ Herald

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