Credit: Cheryl Fullerton, Corus Entertainment Inc.

Employees at Corus Entertainment Inc. have a certain fondness for dogs.

After a successful pilot in February and a popular followup session in March, Corus is bringing back its popular dog day to its downtown Toronto office on May 18 as part of the company’s mental-health month activities.

According to Cheryl Fullerton, executive vice-president of people and communications at Corus, the idea stemmed from conversations about supporting well-being in the workplace on an ongoing basis.

“Dogs make people happy and relaxed, and there is clear evidence of lowered blood pressure and lowered anxiety. We had to be creative in how to bring this benefit into the workplace. Our lease doesn’t allow dogs in the working areas. And we also want to be very sensitive to the fact that some people may have allergies or fears and not do any harm to them. That’s why we landed on using the open atrium space,” said Fullerton.

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The initial program in February saw long waiting lists for people to visit the dogs.

“The 100-plus waiting list in three minutes is proof that it provides something of value to our people,” said Fullerton.

“It has brought nothing but joy to the people involved. It doesn’t cost anything, and it exemplifies our culture of caring, fun, relaxed, connecting and supporting each other. Sitting on the floor playing with dogs fits us.”

On-air personalities took part in the first two sessions, with Anthony Farnell of Global News and radio personalities Alan Cross and Jennifer Valentyne all bringing in their dogs.

Fullerton notes there’s still a waiting list for the May session, which will include five dogs. The program will have two more instalments in September and November.

Also in support of Corus’ mental-health month activities, the company will be holding sessions on mental-health awareness and understanding depression and a massage day, according to Fullerton. While Mental Health Week runs formally from May 7-13 in Canada, Fullerton notes Corus has decided to run programming around the issue throughout the month.

Read: Petting zoos touted as way to reduce workplace stress, boost staff morale

Copyright © 2020 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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