Bring Your Dog to Work – Benefits of Dogs in the Workplace

By March 20, 2017Uncategorized

bring your dog to work day, benefits of dog in the workplaceThat dogs are good for our health is a well-established fact.  But is it good to bring your dog to work?

Dogs have been shown to lower our blood pressure, help prevent heart disease and obesity, and reduce stress.

The advantages of canine company don’t stop there; dogs can also have a positive effect on workplace environments.

In a recent study,* employees counted a “bring your dog to work” office environment among their favorite benefits.  They cited the relief of not worrying about a dog sitting at home alone all day or having to rush home to take dogs out for a bathroom break. The study also mentioned that dogs in the office function as social catalysts. People are more likely to strike up conversations and make connections when they can stop by someone else’s desk to pet a dog.

Four-legged office mates bring physiological benefits too

Employees who bring dogs to work produce lower levels of cortisol (the so-called stress hormone) and higher levels of oxytocin (the so-called trust or feel-good hormone). In the above-mentioned study, having a dog companion at work meant a decrease in stress levels of 11%.  As compared to a potential increase of as much as 70% for dog-less peers. A difference of that magnitude can translate into significant health implications over time.  Affecting not only individuals but overall company productivity and revenue.

Although, when you bring your dog to work; it can have it’s drawbacks

Of course, a pet-friendly workplace must take into account the needs of people who have allergies or simply don’t enjoy being close to dogs. Pet-free zones and office pet policies can go a long way to making office dogs palatable to more companies.

In the U.S., a number of high-profile companies are setting the standard and actively advocating for the morale- and health-boosting effects. Media coverage in the past few years has included stories from Google, Ben & Jerry’s, craft marketplace Etsy, Build-A-Bear, Clif Bar, and social gaming company Zynga. In all cases, common-sense rules apply. No dogs near food-serving areas, only well-behaved dogs allowed, one-strike policy for aggressive behavior, etc.

The great news is that it appears utterly doable to accommodate dogs, dog-lovers, and those less enamored of furry friends—all in the same workplace.

*International Journal of Workplace Health Management, Vol. 5, 2012






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