15/08/2016 - 09:46

Man’s best friend in the workplace

15/08/2016 - 09:46

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Perth photographer Kelly Pilgrim-Byrne is on a mission to uncover Western Australia’s most dog-friendly workplaces.  

Man’s best friend in the workplace
Kevrek Australia's medical alert assistance dog Lacey Photo: Kelly Pilgrim-Byrne

Perth photographer Kelly Pilgrim-Byrne is on a mission to uncover Western Australia’s most dog-friendly workplaces. 

Ms Pilgrim-Byrne’s new book will document how dogs can make a positive difference at work, following international studies that suggest having a dog in the workplace can reduce stress, and increase productivity and job satisfaction.

“They may be assistance dogs, or they may just be best mates who provide companionship and an always-willing ear in the office or on the road,” Ms Pilgrim-Byrne said.

“What they will all have in common is that they are a vital and valued member of the team.”

A 2011 study in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management found significant differences in employee stress levels on those days when a dog was present as opposed to dog-free days, as well as higher job satisfaction than industry norms.

“I’m keen to find out through taking the photos what WA businesses see as the advantages of having dogs in the workplace,” Ms Pilgrim-Byrne said

“I have no idea how many dog-friendly workplaces there are in WA and I am very much hoping to be overwhelmed by choice with a variety of industries.”

Nestle, Google and Amazon are among some of the large multinational companies that have started to implement pet-friendly policies across the US.

“Some of the companies in WA may have policies, but I suspect most of them will be informal,” Ms Pilgrim-Byrne said.

Even though some photo shoots had already taken place, Ms Pilgrim-Byrne, who is the owner of 7 to 1 Photography, said she was actively seeking WA businesses that would like to participate in the project, with no limitation on industry or location.

A diverse mix of businesses have already expressed interest including a vineyard, paint supplier, Curtin University, and a public relations company, all of which have scheduled photo shoots.

Medical alert assistance dog Lacey has already had her photo taken at workplace Kevrek Australia, a hydraulic crane manufacturer. 

The plan is to feature up to 100 businesses that will include two photos and a profile of each business dog. 

K9-5: the business of dogs in the workplace is due to be released on June 24 next year to coincide with international ‘bring your dog to work day’.

Part-proceeds of the book will go towards a dog-related charity.

 

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