2022—Year of the Dog at Columbia REA

Ellie, 10 month old Dachsund

Human: Amy Spivey, MSR/Bilingual specialist

Study after study continues to show the positive effects of being around dogs: everything from helping children develop stronger resistance to asthma, as well as greater empathy and higher self-esteem. Among adults, bringing a dog into your home can bring with it lower stress, lower blood pressure, and even lower cholesterol levels.

Similar benefits have been seen when dogs are brought into the workplace, employee work-related stress, performance levels (even among non-dog owners), staff morale, individual job satisfaction, and company bottom lines all have been shown to benefit from having humans’ best friends at work. For these reasons, and maybe just because we like dogs, Columbia REA recently “unleashed” our new Bring Your Dog to Work Program.

Jennifer Aichele, HR Manager, has been working on the plan for awhile, and found that it was a little harder than she expected to come up with a program that would work for everyone.

“Scott was a big fan of the concept from the start, but it was important for us to have guidelines and some structure to make sure that productivity and safety were not jeopardized, and the benefits of the program were maximized,” says Jennifer.

“With COVID and remote work, humans were all of a sudden so much more connected to their pets, who were also now used to having their people around, so it seemed like the right time.

“Some of the staff were a bit skeptical, but everyone, including the dogs, have been great. We haven’t had to put anybody in time out… dogs or humans!” Laughs Jennifer. “Employees have warmed up to the program and there seems to be a little pep in the office morale when there is a dog in the office.”

We do have a few simple, basic, ground rules.

All visiting dogs must:

  • Be nice
  • Be clean
  • Be housetrained
  • Remain relatively quiet
  • Report to Jennifer’s office immediately upon arrival for a treat