Dogs in office spaces are becoming increasingly more common – and the book world is no exception to that rule. The furry friends promote a welcoming atmosphere in the workplace and although they can’t proofread the next bestseller, their presence brings many benefits to the publishing environment. From bookshop dogs to publishing pups and even Bookstagram models, dogs are slowly taking over the literary world. We’re lucky that for this issue, the lovely dogs at Black & White Publishing in Edinburgh have agreed to prove their importance to us.
Having dogs in an office has been shown to bring various benefits to the work environment. First and foremost, canine companions boost mental wellbeing in the workplace. Studies have shown that petting a dog releases so-called ‘happy hormones’ such as serotonin, prolactin, and oxytocin, so it comes as no surprise that a quick cuddle decreases stress and worry for their human counterparts. More than that, petting a dog aids relaxation, which is much needed when the publishing world enters into the busiest time of the year in the run-up to Christmas.
In addition to boosting our mental, and thereby physical, health, a canine in the office also supports a welcoming, friendly office culture as studies have shown that workplaces which promote inclusivity of dogs have higher employee satisfaction rates, and retain higher numbers of staff for longer periods. Finally, and perhaps most importantly to employers, having dogs in the office improves productivity. With short breaks throughout the day helping employees to regain focus and energy, the furry friends provide the ideal opportunity for a quick wander away from the desk, only to return all the more productive and efficient. Dogs bring a whole wealth of benefits to office culture, and we’ve spoken to the team at Black & White Publishing to find out how their numerous canine companions affect the atmosphere in the workplace.
The office (and Instagram!) stars of Black & White Publishing are the two retrievers, four-year-old Arya and seven-year-old Leo. These Very Important Pups are driven into work by their chauffeur (also known as Black & White’s Managing Director Campbell Brown) where they receive many cuddles and function as hoovers to any food that is dropped by the staff (though Leo will draw the line at salad). Eight-year-old Hugo, known as the Chief Office Dog, has a rather special hobby as he likes to sit and watch Modern Family on a laptop when everyone else is busy typing away on theirs. Wee Louis is the newest addition to the team and has already developed a special skill for advertising books (because really, who could resist those eyebrows?!).
These special publishing pups make a huge difference to the office environment, as Marketing and Press Assistant Laura O’Donnell tells us: ‘The dogs bring so much energy to the office. They’re very well-behaved and let us focus on work but equally, they’re up for playtime whenever we are – no questions asked’. A quick break playing with Arya and Leo’s favourite rope toy during busy and stressful times is exactly what gets everyone back on track. Additionally, no one ever eats their lunch by themselves in the Black & White office, as food of any kind is guaranteed to provide a canine audience. Although the pups had to get used to remote work just like everyone else, Arya and Leo are keeping up their productivity by playing with their rope toy at home, and even Hugo has moved his office (and laptop) to his home.
The Black & White team is comprised of dog enthusiasts, as Laura tells us, and they regularly share cute, funny dog pictures and videos with one another. When they stumbled across Andrew Cotter’s videos of his Labradors Olive and Mabel (now YouTube stars and lockdown entertainers galore) the entire team loved the hilarious commentary, and soon after signed up the sports commentator’s debut Olive, Mabel & Me which is out on 15th October 2020.
The wonderful publishing pups at Black & White Publishing are living proof of the many benefits of canine companions in the office, from stress relief to companionship, and we are grateful to them for the many uplifting stories and moments shared through social media.