Paws Up for Dogs in the Workplace

Dogs in the Workplace

The opportunity to bring dogs to work gives employees a connection not only to their company but also to other employees that make each work day more productive and enjoyable.

A 90 Pound Lab in a Priusdogs in the workplace

I was lucky enough to work for a company that allowed dogs to accompany their pet parents to the office.  This was the most amazing perk.  Although I realized my love of my Prius needs to be second to the love my Stella Luna who barely fit in the back seat (currently looking for a large breed appropriate automobile).

Bringing her with me to the office gave me the opportunity to meet and make friends with colleagues I would never have had the chance to meet let alone work with on a project.  Harvey, Chewy, and Baby Doll along with their pet parents became fast friends. Unfortunately, the company decided to back pedal on this policy and it was a sad day when we learned dogs would only be welcome on Take Your Dog to Work Day.

Employee & Employer Benefits

Dogs in the workplace provide social support for employees, as well as opportunities for coworkers to interact in a positive setting.  This environment leads to getting more done at the office.

Here are some detailed reasons why well socialized dogs should accompany pet parents to their work place:

  • Easier to stay late. When your pet is with you, you don’t need to rush home at mid day or at the end-of the day. This can make scheduling long work days easier.

    dogs in the workplace
    Spreadsheets are more fun with friends.
  • More Pet adoptions are possible. The ability to bring a dog to work eliminates the hesitation to shy away from adoption because of a work schedule.
  • Employee retention. This perk is viewed so positively by pet parents, especially millennials, it is hard to walk away from something that provides such positive work-life balance.
  • Happier work environment. Dogs in the office have been documented to improve morale and make most people happier.
  • Eliminates sitting all day. When a dog is with you, you must get up from your cubical or common work space to walk your dog outside. Plus, the co-workers who want to visit with your pet and have treats for them at their desks, you dog expects to visit their favorite employees.

Proof in the Numbers

dogs in the workplace
Having a bed at the office for your dog doesn’t mean they’ll use (all of) it.

High profile companies like Amazon, Google, and Etsy welcome pet to their offices.  They have not only listened to employees but referred to the scientific research that supports the health benefits of bringing your dog to the office.  They understand that it is good for business because it is  good for the employees.

Positive effects on mental health and well-being have been documented.  These benefits extend beyond the pet parent.  Dogs provide social support, improve performance, and increase social interactions. Social support occurs when a relationship helps to offset stress. 1 Most of us didn’t need a study to tell us that.  Researchers investigating the role of pets in buffering stress reported that pets may serve as a source of social support, perhaps more effectively than a spouse or close friends. 1

Two studies have examined how dogs in the workplace on minimize stress and improve overall well-being. In one study of the effects on employees’ self-reported stress, employees who did and did not bring dogs to work completed a perceived stress survey several times throughout the work day . 2   Employees who did not bring dogs to work had significantly higher perceived stress than employees who did. 1

The findings from the published studies give human resource professionals document reasonings behind the anecdotal, employee noted benefits.

The Job Gets Done, Well

Given that many individuals in today’s workforce struggle with long work hours, increasing job demands, and high stress, the notion of dog-friendly work settings to help reduce these stressors has great appeal to both employees and employers. 1

In addition to the evidence of stress reduction in the presence of dogs, some studies also reported performance-related changes (getting the job done well) but also increased cardiovascular health.

The benefits of  a dog-friendly work place may exhibit lower rates of absenteeism and increased worker morale and productivity.

Simply put every day is a great day to have your dog at the office.

Happy Pet Parenting,

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cover Photo: 📸 Devin Edwards

References:

1 Foreman A.M, Glenn, M.K., Meade B. J., Wirth O., Dogs in the Workplace: A Review of the Benefits and Potential Challenges, Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2017 May; 14(5): 498. doi:  [10.3390/ijerph14050498]

2  Barker R.T., Knisely J.S., Barker S.B., Cobb R.K., Schubert C.M. Preliminary investigation of employee’s dog presence on stress and organizational perceptions. Int. J. Workplace Health Manag. 2012;5:15–30. doi: 10.1108/17538351211215366

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