By Aubrey Beardsley
Today is International Bring Your Dog to Work Day and many wonderful humans have been joined in the workplace by their wonderful dogs.
But every day should be Bring Your Dog to Work Day and I am going to tell you why.
You may think the workplace is serious business (pardon the pun) and no place for dogs who will just turn the work day into play day. But that is exactly why they should be there!
You see, playfulness helps everyone get creative. Genuine playfulness makes everyone more social, more cooperative, and very importantly, much more creative. Creative people are happier and more productive people. And a playful workplace is a happier and more creative one.
But not all play is playful.
Being playful is about freedom, not about goals. Organized sports can never be playful, precisely because they are organized. Playing sport means having predictable goals and it is not playful to be working towards a goal. You are unlikely to come up with new ways of doing something if you are following the rules of a game. But so many wonderful ideas have come about just from talking to a dog.
Genuine playfulness is about having fun. It is so much better to have a dog in the workplace than a ping pong table, or a foosball table, because genuine playfulness isn’t competitive.
Being with a dog is all about being creative, expanding your social sphere beyond your one species, losing all your inhibitions as you sit on the floor for a cuddle, and taking your attention away from conventional ideas to the flexibility of play.
And best of all, genuine play makes everyone feel good.
So if someone asks you how you can work with a dog in the office, just ask back how on earth do they get anything done without one!