Co-working comes with many perks not available in traditional offices, and bringing furry friends to work is one paw-fect benefit.
Operators across Australia are responding to increasing demand for animal-friendly co-working spaces and are relaxing their no-pet policies.
Some spaces have a permanent live-in animal, while other allow members to bring their own animals – permitting they have the right personality.
Having a dog, soft rabbit or even a crazy cat around while you work can be a lot of fun.
And, at a time when wellness in the workplace is front and centre, the welcoming of pets in co-working spaces is a no brainer
Studies have proven the mood-boosting ability of dogs can increase happiness and lower blood pressure, while patting and playing with a furry friend is known to sooth anxiety and reduce stress.
It is also well documented that having an animal around can help break down social barriers and increase conversation length, which is sure to promote bonding in any co-working environment.
In Queensland, Ashley Sheedy runs a pet-friendly space known as The Productive GC.
The converted warehouse comes equipped with printing facilities, desks, a funky feel and two German Shepherds.
“They come to work with us most days and then we take them home at night. I think it boosts morale,” says Sheedy.
“It is very different from the conventional office and having a dog around just picks you up.
“Also, a lot of people work from home as well and they are used to having their pet around, so as long as the animals are polite and not too much of a distraction, they are welcome.”
Sheedy says, so far, members have only brought in small-breed dogs.
But she says it is pet-friendly space and does wonder if someone will choose to bring in a cat.
Tips for co-working with pets
While having a doggo to pat during the workday is appealing to most, owners should follow some basic rules or risk being kicked out of their collaborative space.
Always ensure your dog goes outside for regular toilet breaks and keep plastic bags and cleaning products on site just in case an accident happens.
Feel free to bring in your pet’s favourite chew toy but ensure it is not one that gets them overexcited or something that squeaks.
If your animal is; nervous, aggressive or not well, it’s best to leave them at home. Also remember people are there to work and it’s your responsibility to be aware if someone is being bothered by your animal or you talking non-stop about your furry pal.
Dogs need to be walked as like most of us will go a little crazy if cooped up inside all day. Take them out for a stroll during your lunch break or when you duck downstairs for a coffee, it will help them expend that pent-up energy.
Make sure your animal’s shots are up to date and they are wormed. No one wants to work around a sick animal and other members will not want to put their animals at risk.
Having animals around is fun but not when they smell. Make sure you pet is washed and regularly brushed so they smell pristine and don’t shed hair all over the space.
For a breed with a thick coat consider a lightweight jacket to catch the fur if your canine crew moults excessively.
Remember to bring snacks and a bowl. Dry or wet food is fine but make sure you clean up afterwards. Be considerate of your fellow co-workers and keep loud snacks, like bones, for later at home.
Bringing a food mat to put down can also help remove the chance of scratching and bowls being pushed around by hungry doggies. Don’t forget a water bowl too.
Are you looking for a pet-friendly co-working space? Visit spacely.com.au