The dog on your left (my right) in the picture is our dog Cooper. He is 11 years old.
The other gorgeous Golden in the picture is Norbert. He is 8 years old and is Cooper’s best dog friend.
We recently drove to Stoney Lake to visit Norbert (yup, this is what you do as dog owners … you drive 2 hours north so your dog can visit his best friend). As we were walking through the fragrant pine forest to the lake, it actually struck me for the first time ever that dogs might help boost our creativity. I mean … is that really even possible?
I did some ‘digging’ and found out it is more than possible, it’s absolutely true. Here’s how!
Owning a dog means lots of walks and adventures.
Generally, we walk Cooper once a day and cover about 2.5 kilometres in total. We used to walk 3 times a day and cover a lot more distance, but now Cooper is an old guy with lots of arthritis!
Walking is great for creativity! According to a recent study creative thinking improves while a person is walking and for a period of time shortly thereafter. The authors of the study found that walking outside in the fresh air helped produce twice as many creative responses compared to sitting down. The creative juices continued to flow even after returning to the office and sitting down, back at your desk. The upshot is that creative output improves as does creative quality.
If you bring your dog in to your pet-friendly office, inevitably you will have to take the time to let your dog outside on a walk. These extra brief moments of activity can help keep the creative juices flowing throughout the day. Taking breaks to play tug-o-war or play ball can help to increase the quality of your work by allowing you to come back to your task with a fresh mindset. Plus, getting out of the office and getting some exercise and fresh air can increase your dopamine and endorphins.
Also, the presence of a dog in an office sparks conversations among employees, increasing creativity and positive outcomes.
Finally, having pets in the office (especially the CEO’s office) makes the environment less formal.
Dogs aren’t just good for creativity, they can help improve productivity too.
When a problem arises, it’s hard to stay trapped in a negative mindset when there’s a cute bundle of fur snoring on the floor next to you.
Research tells us that people who describe their homes as cluttered exhibit greater depression and fatigue, diminished coping skills, and increased difficulty transitioning from work to home compared to people who view their place of residence more positively