More and more pet owner take (or want to take) their pets to work. Instead of being alone all day our pets have our company and our workmates pats too! Of course, there are also trials, mishaps and endless amount of fun involved too!
Learning how other pet owners have managed their dog’s working day may, hopefully, help you with your pet. Here’s the ‘tail’ of Irish Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier, Poitin’s, day at work, with his owner Aoife O’Sullivan, Marketing, Sales & Training Manager at Episoft.
Tell us about your pet?
My pets name is Poitín (pronounced Put-cheen, named after an irish liquor made from potatoes, akin to moonshine), he is an Irish soft coated wheaten terrier and he is 7 months old.
What made you decide to take your pet to work?
I decided that I would only get a dog if he could come to work with me. I thought the idea of a dog sitting alone at home all day was quite heartbreaking and lonely. I was worried that if my dog was alone all day that he might bark or become destructive.
Where do you work?
I work for EpiSoft, a software company based on the northern beaches. Our building contains a lot of offices and quite a number of our office neighbors have started to bring their dogs to work too since I started bringing my pup- I think I have started a trend!
Our office is reasonably small, we have 5 staff members that work out of this office on a fulltime basis.
How difficult is it to have a pet at work? What have you had to do to make it work for you and your pet?
Overall I would say it is has been pretty easy but there have been a few challenges. When he was a very small pup it was very easy as he slept most of the time, I just had to make sure that we went out for regular toilet breaks. When I missed his toilet break he decided that my bosses hand woven rugs from Afghanistan were his preferred bathroom spot, so we rolled them up and have put them away until he is a little bit older. Once he became a bit more active he started to go through an attention seeking/whiney stage so I invested in quite a range of toys and chewy things to keep him occupied.
Due to the layout of our office he sometimes managed to sneak off and start chewing arm rests on the leather sofas- agh! It became a bit of a game for him, he would sneak off and start chewing, I would realise he was missing and rush over to stop him and then he would zoom round the office so I had to come up with another tactic to stop him doing this. In the end I put all our spare dining chairs on the armrests so that he could not chew on them, I am hoping that this will break the habit and I can take them down again soon as only two of us can sit at our office table at the one time as the other 4 chairs are on the couch armrests!
Our office has a meeting room in one corner, we call it the fishbowl as it is sectioned off from the rest of the office by glass walls. We don’t allow Poitín into the fishbowl as there are lots of leads and extension cords that he has taken a shine to chewing on! Sometimes when I have meetings or teleconference in the fishbowl he becomes a bit upset as he can see me but not be close to me. On one particular occasion myself and a colleague had a tense negotiation teleconference with customer, we had to try our hardest to remain professional and not start laughing at Poitín who kept flinging himself at the glass walls. The customer was completely unaware of what was going on at our end.
Does your pet enjoy coming to work with you? How do you know?
I am pretty sure he prefers coming to the office with me rather than being home alone, he is showered with attention and treats by my colleagues. In the mornings when we arrive he bounds up the stairs to our office. He is very relaxed in the office, he spends his napping, going round a checking up on my colleagues and then playing a bit of office fetch.
Do you enjoy having your pet at work with you?
I love having him at work with me. It is lovely to have my little buddy curled up on my feet under my desk. All my colleagues enjoy having him around, there is one lady in the building that isn’t fond of dogs, which is fair enough, so we just avoid being in the lift with her.
Does your pet give you any laughs or smiles at work?
He makes us all laugh and smile. We have given him a job title of ‘staff morale officer’. As with any office there can be stressful times when deadlines are drawing near, our new motto for whenever things are getting a bit hectic is ‘pat the puppy’. He loves watching people go by our office, particularly children, it is very cute when he stands on his back legs pressed up against the glass walls.
Does your pet make you more productive at work or enhance your work in any way?
I’m not sure about this one, he is definitely a 9-5 dog, as soon as 5pm rolls around he starts getting very antsy to leave (probably because he knows that he is going to the dog park) whereas I used to stay later sometimes. I don’t think he has had a major impact on productivity either way.
Do you have a working pet story? Share it with us by emailing your pet’s working day and some pics.