You bring your lunch to work, maybe your child, so.why not your dog? Research shows that dogs at work may provide multiple benefits. Now, of course your dog at the workplace requires more attention than your lunch or child, but once you know the benefits, you might want to consider seeing if you can take the pooch to work! The International Journal of Workplace Health Management published a 2012 study about the benefits of bringing your dog to work, and the results may surprise you!
We know dogs do well for patients in hospitals and nursing homes, but dogs can also reduce stress levels at work. The study, conducted by Virginia Commonwealth University, examined 75 staff members, and was focused on how a dog’s’ presence can help the workplace – even if the dog isn’t the staff member’s own pet. The study focused on North Carolina’s Replacements Ltd, a company that allowed workers to bring pets to the workplace. Three groups were part of the study: the first were staff members who brought their own pets to work, those who had their own dogs but left them at work during the day, and staff members who didn’t have a pet of their own.
Researchers were focusing on stress levels in the three groups, and this was examined by saliva samples. The results were the same and steady for all of the groups, but as the day wore on, then the stress levels were affected in a variety of ways. There were lower stress levels measured in the people who had their dogs with them at work, while those who didn’t have a pet or those who left their dog at home had increased stress levels. There was also a measurable increase in the stress hormone levels observed when the owners left their dogs at home – the days they brought their dogs with them, they had lower stress levels.
There are other benefits for having dogs in the workplace. For one, it’s a good way to increase employee happiness with little cost to the employer. Another benefit is that encourages the employees to socialize and be friendly with each other, plus employee productivity gets a nice boost, as researchers have found employees who have pets in the workplace are more likely to work longer hours. Finally, dogs themselves benefit from being at the office! Your dog gets to spend more time with you and gets to socialize with others in the office – maybe even other dogs! Besides, your coworkers and clients won’t be able to resist an adorable pup at the job, will they?
If your boss needs convincing, point them towards the 2012 Virginia Commonwealth study. Need more ammo? Try the recent survey administered by SKOUT! The survey looked at how people feel about pets in the workplace, and 46% of the respondents thought yes, companies should allow pets in the workplace, while 21% said they would bring them. Asked about employee happiness, 74% of those in the survey said that they felt dogs make employees happier. You can read the entire survey results in the company press release.