Most dog owners have at least thought once about taking their pooch to work, but 15 Waikato dogs have even become an integral part of a business.
For the sixth time, Frog Recruitment is running a special competition for all office dogs and expects more than 400 furry friends to be signed up this year.
Entries are open until midnight Sunday, September 19, for the Top Office Dog, Top Dog with a Job, People's Choice awards and for the newly added category Top Dog-Friendly Workplace.
Specialist curriculum leader for science at Hamilton's Rototuna Junior High School Kelly Daniel has entered her Cocker Spaniels Flori and Grid.
"They have the privilege of affecting more than just our family's life. They come to school every day with me, and are two of the few fulltime 'School Support Dogs'."
She says the pooches work with students to help with issues in their lives, anxiety, physical illness, and other needs to help them be happier and healthier at school. "Most days at school I don't even see them because they're at class with students."
According to Kelly, Flori and Grid have made a visible impact on so many staff and students.
"From changing how students feel about school, confidence in learning, ease in social situations, even impacting attendance of students. They are an invaluable part of our school community.
"They love the students, and love being at school, and perform their job with enthusiasm making people smile everywhere. Even if it is because Flori has stolen a bit of someone's lunch!"
Research undertaken by Frog Recruitment in New Zealand in April last year found four-legged colleagues at work have a positive impact, particularly on the mental health of the work-from-home workforce, and especially in a tough Covid-induced lockdown.
Frog Recruitment managing director Shannon Barlow says: "If it's well-managed, [having dogs at work] can actually increase productivity in the workplace. It can have benefits on team cohesion and generally elevate the mood."
She says during the poll last year, office and home-office workers said having a dog working near them improved morale and reduced stress through pandemic times.
"Some entrants [this year] have detailed how their dog supported them through the grief of the death of a loved one that has passed away from Covid illness, stress of job loss, and the anxiety caused by separation from friends, family and colleagues."
The Top Office Dog, Dog with a Job and Top Dog-Friendly Workplace awards will be announced on September 28 at a Zoom meeting with all entrants. Public voting for the People's Choice dog will open on Monday and people have until September 27 to vote for their favourite pooch.
All entrants receive a $20 PetStock voucher. The winning dogs will receive a trophy, a PetStock prize pack worth $1000, six month's access to Mark Vette's virtual online training school, Doggles and a bow.
• To find out more and vote for your favourite four-legged friend click here.