Tips for Take Your Dog to Work Day

Friday, June 23, 2017 is Take Your Dog to Work Day. For some animal lovers, it is the one day of the year they are permitted to bring their dogs into the workplace. It is a daily ritual for a growing number of Americans.

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Take Your Dog to Work Day Tips

Eight percent of all U.S. pet owners are allowed to bring their pet to work according to a survey by the American Pet Products Association (APPA). The number of companies allowing pets in the workplace is on the rise. Researchers found support among the American workforce for pets on the job:

55 million Americans believe having pets in the workplace leads to a more creative environment

50 million believe having pets in workplace helps co-workers get along better

38 million believe having pets in workplace creates a more productive work environment

37 million believe having pets in workplace helps improve relationships between managers and staff

Are you planning on taking your dog to work for the first time? Make sure your office environment is safe. Remove poisonous plants and pesticides, hide electrical cords and wires and secure toxic items such as permanent markers. Any office items in question should be placed out of reach.09_tydtwday_hitachi_data_systems___staff3

Make sure your dog is fit for work. Even dogs don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. Be sure your dog’s shots are current. Make plans to have your dog bathed and groomed before accompanying you to work. Be mindful of your dog’s “work readiness.” You know your dog’s demeanor, so if he is aggressive or overly shy, it’s best to leave him at home. Consider how your dog has behaved in the past around strangers before making the decision to bring him. If your dog has shown fear, irritability or aggression, or if your dog has never met strangers, the workplace is not the best place for him.

Have a doggie bag. Include food, treats, bowls, toys, leash, paper towels, clean-up bags and pet-safe disinfectant. If you are routinely in and out of your work space, consider bringing a baby gate for your doorway or a portable kennel for your dog’s comfort and your peace of mind.

Plan your pet’s feeding times carefully. During an important sales call is probably not the best time for a bathroom break. Plan your dog’s feeding time around your work schedule and be sure to choose an appropriate area for your dog to relieve himself afterward.

Champ chow Alvin

Chow ready to chow down!

Avoid forcing co-workers to interact with your dog. Dog lovers will make themselves known. Sally from accounting and Joe in human resources may not want to play fetch or offer belly rubs, so be mindful of fellow employees’ time and space. To avoid pet accidents, monitor the amount of treats your pet is being given from your co-workers. Remember that chocolate, candy and other people food should not be shared with dogs and that not all non-dog owners will be aware that these items can be very toxic to your pooch.11169932_10153285246389184_5258844094715746244_n

Have an exit strategy. Although most dogs enjoy being with owners at work, your pet may not. Should your dog become overly boisterous, agitated or withdrawn, consider taking him home or plan in advance for your professional pet sitter to offer a midday check-in visit. Never, under any circumstance, leave your pet alone in a vehicle while you work!09_tydtwday_hitachi_data_systems___staff

Prepare Your Workplace for Take Your Dog To Work Day

Businesses looking to increase productivity and profitability; while reducing workplace stress and boosting morale may want to check out the benefits of pets in the workplace. Research by Virginia Commonwealth University touts the benefits of dogs on the job, citing reduced perceived stress and increased job satisfaction for employees with their pets at work.

Pets in the workplace can improve productivity

Pets in the workplace can improve productivity

A survey by the American Pet Products Association found that nearly one in five U.S. companies allow pets in the workplace. In fact, the survey found that:

  • 55 million Americans believe having pets in the workplace leads to a more creative environment
  • 50 million believe having pets in workplace helps co-workers get along better
  • 38 million believe having pets in workplace creates a more productive work environment
  • 37 million believe having pets in workplace helps improve relationships between managers and staff

2010_tyd_photowinner_louise_thmbAn upcoming event hopes to increase the number of firms with pets on the job! The 17th observation of Pet Sitter International’s Take Your Dog To Work Day®  (TYDTWDay®) is on Friday, June 26, 2015. Many businesses—even those not traditionally pet friendly—are opening their doors to employees’ dogs for this day to celebrate the great companions dogs make and promote pet adoptions.

Interested in being part of the fun? Check out the 2015 TYDTWDay Action Pack. It is an online planning guide for participants and provides step-by-step instructions for executing an office event. It even addresses common management concerns and includes a sample “dogs at work” policy and event participation forms.

09_tydtwday_hitachi_data_systems___staff3Event creator Pet Sitters International offers these tips for participating dog owners to help ensure management, employees and pets are all comfortable on TYDTWDay:

1. Do an office check. No one will mind your dog being in the office, right? Well, maybe. Check with management and co-workers to see if anyone is allergic, afraid of or opposed to you bringing your dog to work on this special day. Be respectful of those you work with and plan an alternate celebration, if necessary.

2. Puppy-proof your work space. If you plan on working with your dog, make sure your office environment is safe. Remove poisonous plants and pesticides, hide electrical cords and wires and secure toxic items such as permanent markers. Any office items in question should be placed out of paw’s reach.

3. Make sure Fido is fit for work. Even dogs don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. Be sure your dog’s shots are current. Make plans to have your dog bathed and groomed before accompanying you to work. Be mindful of your dog’s “work readiness.” You know your dog’s demeanor, so if he is aggressive or overly shy, it’s best to leave him at home. Consider how your dog has behaved in the past around strangers before making the decision to bring him. If your dog has shown fear, irritability or aggression, or if your dog has never met strangers, the workplace is not the best place for him.

4. Prepare a doggie bag. Include food, treats, bowls, toys, leash, paper towels, clean-up bags and pet-safe disinfectant. If you are routinely in and out of your work space, consider bringing a baby gate for your doorway or a portable kennel for your dog’s comfort and your peace of mind.

5. Plan your pet’s feeding times carefully. During an important sales call is probably not the best time for a bathroom break. Plan your dog’s feeding time around your work schedule and be sure to choose an appropriate area for your dog to relieve himself afterward.

6. Avoid forcing co-workers to interact with your dog. Dog lovers will make themselves known. Sally from accounting and Joe in human resources may not want to play fetch or offer belly rubs, so be mindful of fellow employees’ time and space. To avoid pet accidents, monitor the amount of treats your pet is being given from your co-workers. Remember that chocolate, candy and other people food should not be shared with dogs and that not all non-dog owners will be aware that these items can be very toxic to your pooch.

7. Have an exit strategy. Although most dogs enjoy TYDTWDay, your pet may not. Should your dog become overly boisterous, agitated or withdrawn, consider taking him home or plan in advance for your professional pet sitter to offer a midday check-in visit. Never, under any circumstance, leave your pet alone in a vehicle while you work.

Are you interested in planning a TYDTWDay event at your office? There is a free downloadable TYDTWDay Action Pack on the event website, http://www.takeyourdog.com.

Businesses unable to participate on Friday, June 26, or that wish to incorporate other pets in the celebration are encouraged to pick any day during Take Your Pet To Work Week™, June 22-26, to plan an event.

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A Simple Secret 1 in 4 Americans Use to Feel Better and Improve their Lifestyle

Would you like to feel better and perhaps get a professional boost too? It is not a new juice cleanse or exercise regime I want to share; it can be as easy as walking a dog or reading to a toddler. It is an opportunity to grow personally and professionally as a volunteer. Health and lifestyle research finds there are many benefits for volunteers.11084281_825868887478501_532518496970130019_n

Here are just a few:

Volunteering connects you to others
Volunteering increases your social and relationship skills
Volunteering increases self-confidence
Volunteering combats depression
Volunteering with animals has been shown to improve mood and reduce stress
Volunteering can reduce anxiety
Volunteering can provide career experience or allow you to practice work skills

Many of your neighbors are enjoying these benefits. More than 62 million people give their time according to Bureau of Labor Statistics. It works out to one in four Americans volunteering their time.

Do you have a story about a volunteer experience to share? I would like to hear your tips and experiences as a volunteer. I volunteer in a couple of ways, but my favorite is the adoption center where I found my pets, the Animal Protective Association of Missouri (APAofMO).

Volunteers and educators from APA of MO Adoption Center work with children

Volunteers and educators from APA of MO Adoption Center work with children

Be Eye Smart and Protect Your Sight at Work and Play

Labor Day has come and gone, but summer sun and temperatures continue across most of the nation. Fall does not officially arrive until September 22, 2013 for countries in the Northern Hemisphere. There is still a lot of outdoor fun and living ahead as Daylight savings time continues until November 3, 2013.

Just because September is here, don’t forget as our skin needs sun protection, the eye’s surface is vulnerable for potentially blinding sun-related diseases. The long days of sun filled recreation can also lead to an increased risk of eye damage.Image

Dr. Mary Kay Migneco, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences instructor at Washington University School of Medicine, advises sunlight is a risk factor for several eye diseases including cancer: “Exposure to ultraviolet radiation can increase the risk for development of cataracts and macular degeneration.  While non-vision threatening, lesions on the lids such as basal cell carcinomas are also at increased risk.”

It is important to start wearing proper sun protection at an early age to protect eyes from years of damaging rays. To be eye smart in the sun, the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends you wear 99 percent and higher UV (ultraviolet radiation) absorbent sunglasses to protect your eyes:

    Choose wraparound sun-glass styles so the sun’s rays can’t enter from the side.

    If you wear UV-blocking contact lenses, you’ll still need sunglasses.

    Add a hat to maximize protection; broad-brimmed hats are best.

    Limit exposure to UV-intense conditions: sunlight is strongest mid-day, at higher altitudes, and reflected  off water, ice or snow.

    On cloudy days the sun’s rays can pass through.

Anyone of any age and skin pigmentation is susceptible to ultraviolet damage and some people may be at a greater risk.  Many factors influence sun sensitivity including medications. There are drugs that can make your eyes more vulnerable to light explains Dr. Migneco, “Photo-sensitizing drugs can lead to photophobia.”

If you are taking any of the following common drugs, Dr. Migneco says it is vital to wear sunglasses and a hat whenever you go outside:

     Psoralens (used in treating psoriasis)

    Tetracycline

    Doxycycline

    Allopurinol

    Phenothiazine

Fall is often a time to tackle outdoor chores. Lawn mowers propel objects at high rates of speed. Regardless of the debris thrown by a mower, it will penetrate the cornea, cause intense pain and inflammatory response.  These eye injuries are easily preventable with safety eyeglasses that are worn during yard work. Wear safety glasses while doing home improvement projects that involve grinding metal, sandblasting, power washing or leaf blowing.

Chores inside your home may present an eye injury risk too. Using hazardous products such as oven cleaner and bleach can impact your eyes. Common household products cause 125,000 eye injuries each year.

The aroma of barbeques and fish fries are a part of outdoor fun.  Take care around the grill or fire pit, often the sparks or ashes that fly through the air can get into your eyes. Cooking foods that can splatter hot grease or oil can also put your eyes at risk.

Cookouts and picnics may take you into contact with poison ivy, poison sumac, or poison oak.  If you come in contact with any of these plants keep your hands away from the eyes. Exposure directly to your eye will require medical attention.   

Popular sports can also pose a risk to your eyes. A national survey by the American Academy of Ophthalmology finds more than forty percent of eye injuries every year are related to sports.  Most people do not wear protective eye wear when playing sports like tennis or baseball.  According to the U.S Eye Injury Registry, 5% of all eye injuries result from baseballs. Doctors say the smaller the ball, the greater the risk of an eye injury. Golf balls, tennis balls, and paint balls are the causes of common sports related eye injury.

Hitting the road on a trip? Put goggles in the trunk for car trouble. Spewing radiators can project steam at the eyes.  Snapping bungee cords can hit the eye at 50 mph.

Everyone is at risk for eye damage and injuries but a few simple steps can help protect your sight for many seasons to come.Image

Workplace Romance: The Rewards & Risks

The economy, layoffs and cutbacks can make the workplace a scary place; but it seems love is triumphing.  Recent research reveals cupid is at work year-around at the water cooler, the break-room and boardroom alike!

Nearly seven out of ten singles or 67% of the U.S. workforce has had a relationship with a co-worker at some point in their careers according to a nationwide survey conducted by Impulse Research.  More than a thousand people in the survey reported spending more time at work and the office has become the new spot to find someone who melts your heart!  Sixty percent of Americans feel it is appropriate to pursue a romantic relationship with a co-worker, and nearly 75% admit to having a crush on a colleague.

While a budding romance with a co-worker can give you another reason to look forward to heading to work in these uncertain times; it can also be risky business. In the worst-case scenario a soured romance could damage your professional reputation, cost you your job or result in sexual harassment charges.  Be prepared for office gossip, jealousy, tension and a lack of space, not to mention the possibility you’ll have to keep working with your sweetheart after a breakup.

Before you jump into the romance, weigh the professional risks with the personal rewards of your particular situation. While some office connections may be acceptable, dating the person you report to, or someone who reports to you, is not.   It is a good idea to do a little research—find if your company has policies on dating. It may forbid or strongly discourage relationships between certain people in the company or require you to report the relationship when it begins. Look around you. Are other co-workers dating? How do they handle the situation? Has the relationship affected their careers or their reputations around the office?    SBTV.com has some rules to follow for moving a business relationship into a romantic hook-up in this short video- just click here to view.

Did your current relationship start with a work or business connection?  If so, please let me know what challenges you faced and if you have tips for others who find love at work.