HIA adopts a pet-friendly workplace philosophy, aligned with the increasing trend in recent years to implement pet-friendly workplaces in an effort to boost morale and productivity.
The basis of the concept is that pets are widely understood to have the effect of improving an individual’s mood and reducing levels of stress and anxiety – sentiments that are invaluable anywhere. Pets help us feel better, give us unconditional love, and improve our overall quality of life.
HIA allows team members to bring their pets in to work with them, with a dedicated pet minder. The pet owner is responsible for the welfare of the animal, cleaning accidents, ensuring that their pet is not a disruption or nuisance in the workplace, and for the general and associated liability for any damage to property or injury to people as a result of the actions of their pet.
The decision has not been without careful thought. Workplace culture is a significant factor that influences team engagement, work relationships, and job satisfaction. It profoundly affects both the quality of the products and services we provide and the lives of those in our organisation. We are proud to embrace what has proven to be a positive experience for team members and the animals. In choosing to prioritise collective wellness, we have created a place where people like to be, with significant effects on all team members and their experiences at work.
Some of you may have met Portia, who has been the collegiate pet since 2018 and comesinto our centre three days a week. She is not a yappy dog, nor is she noisy or disruptive. She is more silent than you or me, orany person who attends our college. Portia is cloistered away upstairs, and when taken out is on a harness and lead, walked by a dedicated dog handler with a pooper-scooper.
People from all walks of life, all ages, genders, and dispositions attend our centre daily. Yoga and meditation classes, massage and allied Ayurvedic health treatments, consultations, tutorials, and lectures, all require a heightened standard of calmness and silence. New attendees have constantly commented and commended us for this. This proof is evidenced daily. We are also appreciative of the safety that Portia’s presence allows when we are working after hours on our premises in Southport.
Having Portia in our learning environment has provided both physical and emotional health benefits for our students. It has promoted a positive mood that has helped inspire and motivate students in their learning, provided significant anti-stress effects for their body, language, and social opportunities, helps them overcome loneliness, social isolation, and other challenges of being in a population of people from diverse cultures and backgrounds. We are proactive in amplifying their voices and supporting them in breaking down barriers and awakening humanity.
GENERAL POLICY FOR THERAPY/COMPANION DOGS
For therapy/companion dogs to be permitted on the premises, conditions apply:
1. Permission must be sought formally, and granted by management.
2. Members of the academic team are permitted to bring in their companion dogs to the centre. Please liaise with others, so that there is one dog at a time on the premises.
3. All other members must show a doctor’s certificate authorising the therapy status that necessitates the dog being allowed with their companion.
4. Dogs must be leashed when being brought into and when leaving the premises.
5. Dogs and their owners must not loiter around the building, nor tarry on the landing or stairs, mitigating the possibility of them being in anyone’s way, including other tenants.
6. All dog owners who bring their therapy/companion dogs to the premises must sign an agreement that they will be 100% responsible for their dog’s behaviour, and the cleanliness of the premises pertaining to their animal, and are liable for any damage to people or property.
7. Except in the case of a guide (seeing-eye) dog, companion/therapy dogs are not permitted in the yoga room during classes.
8. Yappy, noisy dogs are not conducive to the nature of our business and are therefore not allowed.
9. If unsure about the safety of the dog, a muzzle is necessary.
10. Please cooperate with management to be 100% responsible for the cleanliness of the premises.