I'm Mat Coulton, the owner of Wileypup.com.
What do I do best?
This one’s both personal & business related I guess. I feel what I do best is do what I say I’m going to do, for example if I have a goal whether it’s short term or long term I achieve it. If I say I’m going to be somewhere at a certain time I’ll be there. I think I’m reliable and people recognize this and respect it.
What makes me the best version of myself?
Having goals to achieve and direction in life.
What are my aspirations?
Personal 1. Work less, live more. 2. Keep travelling to new places 3. Train my dog and help him live a better life (he’s a rescue with many issues). 4. Build new relationships and foster already established ones.
Business 1. Work more efficiently 2. Foster the relationships that I have with people that contribute to my business 3. Grow the business ethically.
My Biggest Success?
Adopting my rescue dog Daze and sticking by him through all his troubles.
My Most Challenging Moment?
Understanding that I will have to sacrifice a few things in life to keep my dog and let him keep progressing, becoming less selfish.
Confidence, conditioning, composure, content
My Favorite People/Role Models?
My Favorite Places/Destinations?
Guatemala, Indonesia, Parts of Thailand, Mexico, Samoa. When I think about it I love everywhere that I’ve travelled to
My Favorite Products/Objects?
My Van (had a bed in the back so It’s like a second home).
My Current Passions?
Surfing, training, learning, growing!
Tips for Successfully Implementing Pet Friendly Policies at Work
Benefits of Pet Friendly Work Places
The general health benefits of dog ownership, and even time spent with dogs, has been fairly well documented through scientific research. They include psychological, emotional and even physical effects due to the human-animal bond.
However, the research on animals in the workplace specifically is not as well developed. Some studies seem to suggest across the board benefits including lower stress levels and higher productivity. Others show more complex and situationally dependent relationships between pets at work and factors such as employee satisfaction, motivation, and morale.
The truth is that many of the broad claims made in popular literature on the subject are simply overextensions of research done under controlled conditions, often in contexts outside of the workplace. We do not have concrete data to support or preclude pet-friendly spaces at work.
However, what is known is that many employees consider pet-friendly policies to be a major perk – and one that costs very little for employers to implement. Depending on the size of your shop, your individual employees, and the type of work that goes on at your place of business, pet-friendly policies might be a great fit for your company.
5 Tips to Making Effective and Fair Pet Friendly Policies
1. Get unanimous buy-in.
It just won’t do to introduce a policy that benefits some employees while significantly dampening the experience of the work environment for even a single employee. Allergies, phobias and plain old “I just don’t like to be around animals” are all fair reasons to exclude pets from the workplace.
Thus, the first step in any pet friendly policy is to assess, preferably anonymously, if anyone has strong objections to allowing pets in the office.
If you use an assessment tool like an online survey or printed forms, be sure to include a section giving employees a chance to articulate some conditions that, if met, would make pet friendly policies acceptable to them. This can open the door to a conversation about compromise where everyone feels good about the deal struck in the end.
2. Create reasonable restrictions to participation.
A pet free-for-all is not going to work. However, reasonable containment policies like designating pet-free spaces, scheduling for a limited number of agreeable animals on each pet-day, and maintaining outside “potty areas” or fenced play spaces, can all contribute to making pets at work a more manageable proposition.
Another requirement for participation should be that the owner is responsible for supervising their pet at all times. If they need to leave the area, they would need to make sure someone else is able and willing to supervise their pet without creating a major disruption to work flow.
3. There is a committee for that!
Appoint a pet committee that includes both participating employees and those that do not bring their pets to work. This team can be the first to address any issues that arise such as a scuffle between two dogs, uncleaned messes, or unsupervised pets.
A pet committee can also handle making sure that the workplace has been “pet-proofed,” adequate pet first-aid is kept on hand, as well as manage scheduling. If a dog is just too distracting at the office because he is too young or just rambunctious, the committee can vote to decide on Fido’s continued participation in the program.
4. Create pet play areas.
Pets tend to do best when given some time to get a little exercise to play. It is important that outdoor free play areas are completely secure with proper fencing. For inside play, consider modern tools, such as automatic ball launchers, to give pups an indoor activity that does not require much supervision.
5. Talk to your insurer about coverage.
An accident or unforeseen dog aggression can create a problem in the workplace. It is important to be sure that the business and employees will be covered in the event that property is damaged or a person or pet gets hurt as a result of the pets at work. It is advisable to also consider having all employees sign appropriate waivers to absolve the company from risks to the pets themselves.
Even the most well-adjusted felines and canines can get stressed out by triggers that you don’t even realize are there until they go off. Since preventing 100% of accidents is not realistic, be prepared in the event that one happens.
This article offers just a glance at some things to think about if your organization is considering creating some pet-friendly policies. For a more in-depth look at some successful strategies, we recommend “Dogs at Work: A Practical Guide to Creating Dog-Friendly Workplaces” by Liz Palika and Jennifer Fearing.