Bring Your Dog to Work to Reduce Stress

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Bring your dog to work – you will benefit and so will your co-workers and your employer.

Some forward thinking businesses are reaping benefits for the business and for their employees by encouraging their workers to bring their pet dogs to the workplace. Researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University have concluded that bringing the family dog to work can boost morale and reduce stress not only for employees who had dogs but also for other employees. According to a BBC news report:

dogs in the workplace

The researchers suggested access to dogs boosted morale and reduced stress levels, whether people had access to their own pets or other people’s.

Researchers compared those who brought in their own pets, with those who had dogs – but left them at home – and staff who did not own pets.

Over a week, the researchers compared employees’ stress levels, job satisfaction and feelings about support from and commitment to the company.

Stress hormone levels were measured using saliva samples during the day.

In the morning, there was no difference between the three groups.

But during the course of the work day, stress levels appeared to decline for employees with their dogs present and increased for non-pet owners and dog owners who did not bring their dogs to work.

When dog owners left their dogs at home, the study indicated that their stress levels rose significantly over the course of the work day, compared to days when they were accompanied by their dogs.

Randolph Barker, lead study author and professor of management at the VCU School of Business, said dogs can make a positive difference in the workplace.

“The differences in perceived stress between days the dog was present and absent were significant. The employees as a whole had higher job satisfaction than industry norms.”

Prof Barker said having dogs around the workplace may contribute to employee performance and satisfaction.

And he reported positive comments from employees such as “pets in the workplace can be a great bonus for employee morale”, “having dogs here is great stress relief” and “dogs are positive; dogs increase co-worker cooperation.”

Stressed out employees, according to past research, have a higher absentee rate and significantly lower productivity due to “burnout”. So, Ms. or Mr. Business Owner, why not let your workers bring their “best friends” to work? You just may see the benefits in your employees’ attitudes as well as in your bottom line.


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