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An office should be all business – right?

We’ve found that there is something very calming about having a pets around in the office.

Our local club has a very large fish tank as a dividing wall. Apart from the fact that kids all want to go over and watch the fish, it has a subconsciously calming effect on patrons. Fish tanks are great for areas such as the doctor’s waiting room or any other area where patrons must spend some time and may be stressed or frustrated.

One of the benefits of working from a home office is that if you have a dog or a cat, they provide constant companionship in what could otherwise be a lonely existence. (I’m particularly thinking of an artist or a writer working from home.)

Our office cat Spyda

Our office cat Spyda spends most of the day sleeping on an old booster seat in front of the reception desk

I’m really a dog person, but we have an office cat called Spyda.

Generally Spyda makes herself at home by the door or she sleeps on an old child’s booster seat beside the reception desk. However, occasionally she can be quite irritating by jumping on desks and walking across the keyboard. If you leave your computer unattended, you may return to find that there is a lot of gobbledygook typed on an open document.

The danger of having a cat in the office is that a lot of people are allergic to them – I know at least 5 people that fall into this category.

A nice alternative is the right sort of dog, (did I mention that I’m not really a cat person!). Unfortunately, even the best behaved dog can be a bit smelly in an office. In my view dogs are for outdoor workers.

shadowI’ve worked in different offices with fish, birds, a guide dog and now a cat. Dogs, cats and birds can have a calming effect whilst also providing occasional comedy relief. Birds can be charming, but they can also be noisy at the wrong time – such as just when you are in the middle of a serious phone call.

My view, the best results in life and work come when we love what we do and we have work/life integration. If your personal life involves pets, then why not have a pet with you at work?

When I see a dog heading off to work on the back of a labourer’s truck, I see a happy dog. A dog doesn’t want to be left behind when you go off to work. In fact they probably don’t have any idea why you leave every day.

I’ve seen first hand how much of a calming effect the companionship a dog can bring to the lives of builders on a construction site.

What do you think about having pets at work?