Dogs, we love them. And now research is telling us that when we get to spend the day with them at work, these animals make us happier and help lower our stress levels. Today on National Puppy Day, we want to talk about why allowing dogs in the workplace is a great benefit to your work environment and employees.
Virginia Commonwealth University professors Sandra and Randolph Barker conducted a study that measured the stress levels of employees who worked for a company that allowed dogs in the workplace. They found that having dogs around, in general, made people happier, lowered stress levels, and made workers more productive.
The most surprising result was that the dogs actually helped to break down communication barriers employees were having between them. People without dogs would stop by to pet the dogs or ask to take them on walks. Social interaction is not just a benefit for the dogs themselves, getting to interact with people and other pets, but also creates great opportunities for employees to connect with each other, establishing an atmosphere for better communication and teamwork.
Having a policy that allows dogs in the workplace is an attractive benefit for future hires. Millennials are quickly replacing the baby boomers as the largest pet-owning generation. These young, potential employees consistently rate being able to bring their dog or other pet into their office as one of their favorite benefits. It’s also a great and low cost wellness benefit that is a natural stress reliever and team building activity.
Here at Babb, we get the occasional surprise of having our Group Benefits mascot, Machado the English bulldog spend the day with us. It allows us to come together and laugh, take a break, and talk to each other. Not to mention, that on Fridays, when he normally comes in, we are all ready for the weekend and have a build up of stress from the previous days. When Machado is here, that stress seems to melt away and lightens the atmosphere. We also get visitors from the other departments to come say hi, coworkers that we don’t always get to interact with on a daily basis.
Let’s face it, there is nothing better than getting to have a midday cuddle with a cute dog. Check to see what your employer’s stance is on dogs in the workplace or how your employees would react to initiating such a policy.
(Photo by Sami Mel Photography)