I’ve recently visited a number of offices where dogs are allowed in the office.
It’s a growing trend to have animals at work. They add some fun, a good conversation point and perhaps have a soothing effect on employees.
It’s great to see employers taking a more relaxed stance to their work environment. I’m guessing anyone with allergies is also catered for, as not everyone is animal friendly. Perhaps they have a dog-free visitors zone.
Dogs are interesting idea though for improving the working environment. Maybe employers will make other concessions in the future. Perhaps a quiet area for Introverts or those wanting quiet, away from conference calls?
Maybe also an active zone for stretching and pacing around – many people like to move when they are creating. Maybe a place for Yoga and a stretch, somewhere to hang from your hands or perform a gentle workout. There are definitely more changes that can take us beyond the 1970’s rows of dark uncomfortable desks, inflexible chairs and neon lit offices to a work-space that helps you work and all that is involved in working.
Where I’ve worked with space, either within the building or outside in terms of parks, wooded walks or streets and gardens, I’ve always found that helpful. Walking meetings for two or three can work well, on a well-known route.
I’ve also explored mindful walking, where you move as a group for a a few minutes and use all your senses (expect speaking) and then review the experience. The opportunity for solace and silence can be beneficial. One of my team used to plug in his iPod and walk for 20 minutes every lunchtime. He needed that space and seemed more productive after his breaks.
Perhaps we just need a little more imagination and some thought on ways to make the workplace a more engaging and useful environmental for us to inhabit during the working day.
Thanks for your ideas!