As anyone who follows my Instagram posts will know, my dog Huxley can often be found in the studio with me. Those who visit our studio in Preston, Lancashire may also have met Huxley as he occasionally explodes on the scene during meetings with clients and suppliers. But what effect does having a dog in the office have on creativity, productivity and our overall well being?
Owning a dog means lots of walks and more adventures. Generally, we walk at least three times a day and can cover up to 5 miles in total. Walking is great for creativity! According to a recent study carried out at Stanford Graduate School of Education, creative thinking improves whist 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.
Dogs aren’t just good company, they can help improve productivity too. When a problem arises in the studio, its hard to stay trapped in a negative mindset when there’s a cute bundle of fur snoring under the desk. Especially when that cute bundle of fur is ready for a game of fetch, at a moments notice. Huxley often helps me to snap out of that stressful situation, returning to my desk more focused on finding a solution to the issue which has arisen. Two four-hour intensely focused sessions in front of my computer, with a walk and an adventure outside in between, is far more productive than a single eight hour session that can seem never-ending!
The creative design process can often be difficult and stressful, so having Huxley in the studio can be very therapeutic. His laid back attitude can be very infectious and calming, even during projects with seemingly impossible deadlines. He’s also a good marketing tool, as when we have meetings with clients he often wants to get get to know them too. Some clients talk to me whilst stroking him, whereas some drop into the studio simply to see him. A few have even said he was the deciding factor in ultimately commissioning our services!
The plus points of having a dog in the studio far outweigh any negatives and Huxley is an important, valuable member of the team.
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