Office Animals for Wellness

For the past year, The Florida Bar has attempted to place focus on the mental health and wellness needs of lawyers in the profession.   In my practice and in my office, the incorporation of animals in our office transforms the environment of our workplace to a less sterile, and more human, environment.   The goal of wellness is to increase one’s physical, psychological and spiritual well-being.   This is distinguishable from mental illness, such as depression, which is a chronic disability that does not depend on day to day stressors.

More and more employers allow animals in their workplace and have found success.  For example, Amazon has approximately 6,000 dogs that work in its Seattle Headquarters.  According to Amazon, the presence of pets in the workplace lower stress, boost morale, and contributes to the company’s culture of collaboration.   In our office, our dogs, Lucy and Murphee, provide a break in our normally stressful days.  Lucy demands treats, walks, and an occasional tug-o-war.  Also, it’s perfectly ok to give the dogs a hug or a belly scratch.  For our clients, it humanizes a situation that is usually intimidating.  Nothing like a lick to lighten up a scary place.

At the Annual Convention of the Florida Bar in Orlando on June 14th and June 15th, the Animal Law Section and Osceola County Animal Services is having a puppy pit room where people can take a break and play with their dogs, get a lick (or two), and put stressors into perspective.   If you fall in love, you can bring one home, and have your very own litigation support dog too!

If you already have an animal who assist you with balance and wellness, post a video, tag it with #WellLawyer or #wellness, and send it to me!

See you on June 14th and 15th in Orlando.