Bring Your Dog to Work Day
How Having Dogs at Work Impacts You
A study recently published in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management indicates that bringing your dog to work can lower stress levels, increase productivity and make the job more satisfying for you and your coworkers. It may also increase the urine smell in the communal space, but small price to pay.
Researchers examined a service-manufacturing-retail company in North Carolina with 550 employees and between 20 and 30 on-site dogs. They measured employees’ stress levels (via surveys and saliva samples) on days during which there were and were not dogs on company premises. The results indicated that, overall, employees’ perceived stress levels were significantly lower on days when dogs were present at work. The employees also reported overall higher job satisfaction than industry norms. And we'd posit that small dogs in pink dresses cause the greatest increase in job satisfaction.
But those who bring their own dogs to work appear to benefit the most. While self-reported stress levels increased over the course of the workday for those who did not have a dog or who left their dog at home, those who brought their canine into work actually reported decreasing stress levels over the course of the day.
In addition to stress relief, the researchers noted that having dogs at work appeared to boost morale and improve communication between coworkers. They observed employees who did not own dogs asking their coworker with a dog if they could take Fido on a walk—this led to more positive exchanges between coworkers and greater opportunities for exercise during breaks. Why doesn’t anyone ever offer to walk our mongrels?
The researchers plan to expand on their sample size with future research but already endorse “pet presence” as a low-cost wellness intervention for companies. Leave it to the man upstairs to use someone else’s financial responsibility as a “low-cost intervention” for employees, but we’ll take what we can get these days. Isn’t that right, Pookie?
Source: Virginia Commonwealth University (2012). Benefits of Taking Your Dog to Work May Not Be Far-Fetched. ScienceDaily. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120330081235.htm
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