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Who let the dogs in? Norfolk employers on the benefits of canine colleagues

PUBLISHED: 10:03 06 November 2018 | UPDATED: 16:15 06 November 2018

Rolo the rescue labrador is Curveball Media's office dog. Picture: Curveball Media

Rolo the rescue labrador is Curveball Media's office dog. Picture: Curveball Media

Curveball Media

It used to be a once-a-year-day, or a special treat for weekend workers.

But office pets are becoming an increasingly paw-pular part of the workforce, with many businesses looking to formalise the invite to their employees’ four-legged-friends.

And not only is having a pet-friendly office improving the mood and wellbeing of staff, it’s also giving companies a recruitment advantage when sourcing the brightest sparks on the market.

Pippa Redmond and husband Mark own Norwich Print Solutions, and three-year-old St Bernard Bear is a daily visitor.

“I can’t think of any disadvantages,” Mrs Redmond said. “When we got a dog we knew we’d want to bring him to the office, and his nature is just so docile and gentle he was perfect.

Ellie and Mabel, golden doodles who go to work at Broadland Flooring in Salhouse. Picture: Broadland FlooringEllie and Mabel, golden doodles who go to work at Broadland Flooring in Salhouse. Picture: Broadland Flooring

“When he was younger it was a bit more difficult because you have to take puppies out more, and if we have anyone who isn’t a dog fan there’s a crate we can put him in. But 99% of people absolutely love him, he makes us laugh so much.”

“It makes an office feel more homely,” said Olly Lawer, who co-owns Curveball Animation and Films, and has brought his rescued Labrador Rolo to work in Norwich for the past two years.

“The only disadvantage I can think of is when he gets overexcited and barks - but you’d get that with people laughing or having a loud conversation. It’s just about having that awareness and respect for your colleagues,” he said.

He added: “If the dog is trained it’s a welcome distraction. It’s nice to come out of a really intense piece of work and have a cuddle or a play, or a walk, before getting back to it.”

Bear acts as personal assistant to her owners who own CCRV Ltd in Wisbech. Picture: CCRV Ltd.Bear acts as personal assistant to her owners who own CCRV Ltd in Wisbech. Picture: CCRV Ltd.

This week, publisher Archant welcomed a cockapoo named Alfie to the Eastern Daily Press newsroom, to the delight of reporters.

The experts agree, with employee engagement consultant Cassandra Andrews, saying: “From my research millennials especially will prioritise bringing dogs to work over other perks like a gym membership.

“Smart businesses will start seeing this as an advantage - both to attract the talent they want, and to boost their employees.”

Not only does it work from an employer point of view, but it keeps customers coming back.

Rocco the French Bulldog is the second office dog at the Kare Plus Norwich office. Picture: Kare PlusRocco the French Bulldog is the second office dog at the Kare Plus Norwich office. Picture: Kare Plus

“Half the time people remember the dog’s names before they remember the staff’s,” said Denise Russell who co-owns Broadland Flooring in Salhouse.

Golden doodles (golden retriever and miniature poodle mix) Ellie, Mabel and Millie are canine colleagues who see the office as a second home, having a fenced area to play and sleep.

Mrs Russell added: “Having the dogs in the office is a big part of our working day – they’re happy, most visitors are happy to see them and we’re happy they’re not home alone.”

Bear the St Bernard is Norwich Print Solutions' office dog. Picture: Norwich Print SolutionsBear the St Bernard is Norwich Print Solutions' office dog. Picture: Norwich Print Solutions

Alfie is the Eastern Daily Press' new office dog. Picture: ArchantAlfie is the Eastern Daily Press' new office dog. Picture: Archant

Poppy the office pet goes to work with her owners every day. Picture: Zena and Glenn WilsonPoppy the office pet goes to work with her owners every day. Picture: Zena and Glenn Wilson

Charlie the Newfoundland is always ready to greet visitors to the Kare Plus Norwich office. Picture: Kare PlusCharlie the Newfoundland is always ready to greet visitors to the Kare Plus Norwich office. Picture: Kare Plus

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