We have a new trainee trader in the office – Jacques. He is French! He isn’t very talkative, and a little on the short side, but loves a good belly rub. It has been a week since he joined us, not without a little controversy. Jacques is a French bull dog. Some people were big fans of him joining, others were not. So we thought we’d take a moment and reflect on the pro’s and con’s of having a pet on a futures trading floor in Dublin, Split, or anywhere else.
First the pros!
⦁ Stress relief – According to a 2012 research study published in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management, on-the-job stress levels among a test group in Greensboro, N.C., fell among the employees when they had their dogs by their side. Jacques is never busy when it comes to helping futures traders relax.
⦁ Take a break – Take a big loser? Have a series of losers? Feeling like you need a break from the markets? Go walk the dog. Perhaps you might even come back with a great new idea. If it turns out to be a bad idea, you can always blame the dog.
⦁ Make New Friends – Whether you are on the trading floor or in a park, your chances of being approached by people increase if you have Jacques as your wing-man. This will give people something to bond over and improve relationships between everybody on the trading floor. And yes folks, cute boys/girls will approach you on the street if you have a cute dog. Use this trader’s edge wisely, young padawans. Obviously, you cannot be completely happy with an awesome job without awesome love life, right? Well, at least until your GF/BF figures out that you love trading futures more than you love them. 😉
⦁ Pets stimulate creativity – According to Heplguide.org’s research on the health benefits of pets, interaction with pets reduces depression rates, elevates levels of serotonin and provides productive ‘brain breaks’. All of this stimulates the innovation process and creativity a trader can surely benefit from. It is still early to say if our experiment will prove this correct, we’ll have to run it by “the big dog!”
⦁ Benefits for the dog – Dogs are social creatures that dislike being left alone. Clearly, futures traders hate leaving their pets alone while trading all day in the office. The happier the pet is, the happier the trader.
⦁ Dog’s character – Not every dog is trainee trader material. A loud barking psycho poodle or aggressive dogs might provide more problems than benefits. The dog needs to be calm, friendly, quiet and well trained. I doubt our fellow traders would appreciate dealing with the poop on the trading floor or overly excited cable chewing bark-machine around their trading station.
⦁ Health issues – Dog allergies could be an issue for some prop traders, so make sure you get a hypoallergenic dog for the office. Executing trades while struggling with uncontrollable sneezing or asthma attack could certainly be a challenge.
⦁ Size of the dog – large dogs may also be a problem. You can’t have a Great Dane under your trading desk.
Luckily, our new trainee trader fits the job description perfectly, except for not having opposable thumbs—ironically, he might struggle with the mouse.
Any other people have pets on their futures trading floor? Awesome or awful? Fill us in on your experiences.