If you've ever visited our offices or ventured on to our Facebook page over the past year, you'll have not failed to notice one quiet but integral part of the Equinet team: Woody the Lurcher

Woody started "working" at Equinet when our Business Development Manager, Gemma Rogers, joined us last summer and has his own bed and water bowl in her office. 

And what a fabulous addition to the team he is.  

He's an interested participant in our Daily Stand Up meetings, first thing each morning, and listens attentively as the team recount their [Agile] Scrum points moved yesterday and planned work for the day.  

And, he's an incredibly calming presence in the weekly office bustle of workshops, meetings and inbound marketing - always a willing recipient of a back rub or a stroke as we strategise, question, consider and innovate. 

We're not the only ones, of course, who think that having pets at work is a great idea. The Guardian last year reported that the likes of Nestlé, Mars, and more than 50 organisations that it spoke to (from software firms to theatres to architects) "allow dogs in the workplace and are benefiting from doing so."

Indeed, the article highlights research by psychiatrist Stephen Colarelli of Central Michigan University that shows that pets in the workplace offer the business three key benefits: “First, dogs lower stress, heart rate and blood pressure, and make individuals who work alone feel less lonely. Second, people are perceived as more friendly and approachable when a dog is present in the office. Finally, it’s likely to increase cooperation and other positive behaviours among members of work groups.”

The post below from Lindsey Hyslop writing for the Fitbit blog highlights still more advantages, including boosting office morale, and aiding both recruitment and retention, as staff seek out those work environments that help to ease the balance between home and job responsibilities. 

We love having our "inbound hound" in the office, for his company, his calmness, and his eagerness to engage with everyone - staff, clients, visitors and even the postman.  

As Colarelli told the Guardian: “Allowing dogs in the workplace can improve morale and make employees think better of the company for offering this benefit; yet it can cost employers literally nothing.”   

It's a win-win for man and dog - what's not to like?