Shepparton News

Paw productivi­ty, but happy workplace

- The General is The Boss’s dog. For more yarns, visit sheppnews.com.au/ thegeneral

I’ve been thinking it’s time I helped out more at the office. The Boss’s office, that is.

At times like this we should all be pulling our weight and working for the greater good.

Here I am, lying around in the springtime sun, halfdozing and savouring the garden scents and birdsong on the breeze when — it occurs to me — I could be more of a net contributo­r.

I was prompted to reflect on this after I heard the Missus say, in a rather exasperate­d voice, “Why don’t you take him to the office?”

She was referring to me, I know, because I had been sitting seven-and-a-half inches from her elbow, patiently waiting for her to work through her breakfast toast. In the hope a crust might be in the offing. And, yes, I was probably drooling a little. Well, possibly a lot.

And I was staring at her with a laser-like focus, amplifying my bright yellow eyes to spookiness — a technique that will often freak her out and hurry things along.

So I suspect she was thinking less about me being a net contributo­r than shunting me out of the way.

The Boss had mentioned a survey by the people at the Banfield Pet Hospital, who asked 1000 employees and 200 human resources profession­als how they felt about a pet-friendly workplace.

Not surprising­ly, an overwhelmi­ng majority thought that having me there would be a wonderful thing. Or some four-legged company, anyway.

They found that having dogs in the workplace improved morale, reduced stress, improved the workers’ sense of wellbeing, reduced their guilt about leaving their mutts at home and even improved their loyalty to the company.

They also argued it improved work relationsh­ips and even helped people work longer hours. As for increased productivi­ty, well, that measure scored the lowest.

The Boss once told me that an office he worked at in Melbourne years ago had a blind receptioni­st named Olive, and her guide dog Champ — a cheerful old Labrador — sat under her desk all day.

“I can’t see you doing that, General. You’d be doing the rounds for a pat first thing, spend the next hour sniffing around until morning tea . . . when you’d be lining up and pleading for morsels.

“And if people were careless enough to leave some lunch in their bags or on the edge of a desk, you’d be making off with it.

“It’s hard to see how you’d help to improve office relationsh­ips.”

This wasn’t the reaction I was wanting. I see a workplace role as the next natural step in my career developmen­t.

I have always seen myself as having the potential to grow, if only he would give me the chance. There are no limits to what a dog like me can do if given the opportunit­y.

“That’s what I’m worried about,” The Boss grunted, reading my mind. “After two days of you running around interrupti­ng and causing havoc, everyone would be working from home!”

Which means he would be around to meet my needs all day — so I can profit either way. I call that a win/win. Woof!

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 ?? ?? Four-legged friends at the office: Does the idea work?
Four-legged friends at the office: Does the idea work?

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