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)


Babb’s Holiday Gift Guide: Monthly Subscriptions Edition, Pt. 2

On Tuesday we explored subscription boxes and services ranging from online streaming to women’s fashion.  Today we wanted to cover more areas that also provide great, high quality monthly services.


Dollar Shave Club, $1 for the first month, after either $3, $6, or $9 a month:  When you sign up for the Dollar Shave Club, you get to choose if you would like a 2, 4, or 6 blade razor.  That first month of your subscription you are sent a handle and a full cartridge of the blade you choose for a $1.  After that first month, you are able to set your delivery schedule for whatever you would like.  If at any time you would like to cancel, you can do so for free or you can change your blade type at any point and you will be sent a new handle for free.  It’s a very easy set up and one of the cheapest subscriptions out there on the market.  Also, it isn’t just for men, these blades are being used by many women who have really enjoyed the results they have seen.

Game Day Box, starting at $39.95 a month:  Do you have huge sports fans in your life?  The Game Day Box, from Cratejoy, is a specially curated box of officially licensed merchandise from sports teams from the NFL, MLB, NHL, and NBA.  All you have to do is fill out sizes for shirts and hats, choose between men, women, and children’s items, and pick the team(s) that you would prefer items from.  They will send you everything from hats and shirts to mugs, beer cozies, keychains, Pop! Funko toys, and collectibles!  Your sports fan will love you forever when you subscribe them to Game Day Box!

Trunk Club (for men, and women), $25 home try-on fee, and then only pay for what you keep:  Trunk Club offers men a personal stylist to help them find a style and buy clothing that fits them.  The stylists are there to help you find the perfect outfits for whatever you need them for, from weddings to everyday attire.  Each trunk provides a variety of clothing items and accessories that your personal stylist has chosen for you with great care and is sent to you as often as you like.  You get 5 days to try everything on and then only have to pay for what you decide to keep.  The $25 home try-on fee is credited towards the total cost of what you decide to buy.  Clothing can go from anywhere in the $100-$300 range, similar to department stores like Nordstrom’s.  If you or someone in your life notoriously hates shopping, this is the perfect gift.

For the Nerd in us all

Fandom of the Month, $13/month, $36/3 months, $66/6 months:  The Fandom of the Month club was started by a very talented and fandom obsessed set of triplets who wanted to curate and create a monthly subscription box for people who love their fandoms and jewelry.  Each month you get 3-4 pieces of handpicked jewelry with a fandom specific theme that is revealed when you receive your box.  Don’t be discouraged if you are nervous about what the theme for that month’s box will be.  The girls tease their theme on their Instagram account each month (@fandomofthemonth).  All you have to do is sign up and choose what subscription you want and wait to see what you get!  These girls are amazing and have their own handmade craft shops and an upcoming makeup line (@storybookcosmetics) so be sure to check them out!

You can follow all of them on Instagram here:  @thesorcerersphone, @thegeekycauldron, @halfbloodprints

Loot Crate, starting at $13.95 a month:  Are you a comic book, superhero, sci-fi, fantasy, gaming, etc. fan?  Celebrate the nerd within with a subscription to LootCrate, a unique monthly box filled with licensed collectibles, shirts, home goods, and so much more based on your favorite fandoms.  Each month you get a specially curated box based upon a particular theme (magic, mystery, hero, etc.)  that includes 5 great items that any nerd would love.  Check out their site to see what some past themes and boxes included.

Owlcrate, start at $29.99 + shipping:  Do you enjoy or know someone who enjoys Young Adult novels?  Owlcrate is a great service that delivers monthly boxes tailored to a different and fun theme.  Each box includes a new YA novel, 3-5 book items, and exclusive items from the author.  All of the goodies you receive are high quality and can’t be found in the big box stores.  All you have to do is choose what subscription you want and they will continue to ship you the best YA themed boxes until you make the decision to stop.  Once your box arrives all you have left to do is enjoy your book and goodies.  Don’t forget to share your experience with all of your friends and the other members of the Owlcrate community.  You never know, you just may make some new friends.

Health & Fitness

Bulu Box, start at $10 a month:  Bulu Box is a monthly subscription box geared towards health, fitness, weight loss, and nutrition.  Each month, they send you 4-5 premium samples to test and are just enough for you to figure out if that product is right for you.  Currently they offer two types of boxes, the Bulu Box Original and the Bulu Box Weight Loss.  The original box has products that covers a broad spectrum of health, fitness, and nutrition.  Lifestyle products may also sneak in to the original box, whereas the Weight Loss box is designed to specifically address and help with weight loss problems.  It includes healthy snacks, workouts, fitness gear, recipes, and other tools that are geared towards helping you achieve any and all of your weight loss goals.  For more information on each box, you can check out their website to figure out which box is best for you or your love done.

FabFitFun, $49.99 every 3 months:  Every 3 months, FabFitFun members receive a seasonal box filled with full size, premium products.  Each box includes a mixture of beauty, health, fitness, home products, etc. that are geared towards making sure you feel great about yourself.  And the best part is you only have to pay that $49.99 every 3 months, or pay an annual fee of $179.99.  If you are looking for a subscription box that includes a little bit of everything and provides full sized products instead of sample sizes, this is the one to subscribe to today!

The Honest Co., $35.95 per month:  If you are committed to using products that are chemical free and not harmful to you and your family and to the environment, you should definitely check out the Honest Co.’s monthly bundle package.  Each month you get to tailor your bundle to your specific wants and needs and are able to choose from over 65 different products ranging from beauty and skincare to cleaning products.  Yes, you can find Honest products at Target stores, but you will actually save a significant amount of money each month when you decide to subscribe to receive a bundle package.  Not only do you get to decide what types of products you want and need but you also get to decide how often and when your bundle gets sent to you.


BarkBox, starting at $20:  Do you like to spoil your extra special pup with treats and toys?  Then Bark box is the perfect subscription box for you.  Each month, they will send you 4-6 toys and treats all within a surprise theme geared towards creating a healthy and fun future with your fur friend.  The all-natural snacks and innovative toys are chosen based on your dog’s likes, needs, and allergies.  If they really love something, you can easily find it again to purchase on the Bark Box website.  This company also goes out of their way to help and support rescues, shelters, and other non-profits across the country who make it their goal to find forever homes for lonely dogs.

Purrpack, ranging from $16.99 to $39.99 depending on size of box:  Similar to Bark Box, the Purrpack is a monthly subscription box containing surprises for your cat(s).  Each month you will receive treats, toys, accessories, scratchers, etc.  These boxes are packed based upon the preferences you provide and will give you different items each month so aren’t receiving the same things over and over.  They offer different size packages based on the number of kitties you have in your household.  You are able to explore new and innovative toys and high quality treats without having to spend ridiculous amount of money.  And believe us, your cats will love this subscription.