At a lot of businesses, every day is ‘take your dog to work day’. That’s because a new study found that dogs in the workplace drastically reduce stress, and boost job satisfaction for all employees.
Virginia Commonwealth University researchers studied staffers at one company. Some brought their dogs to work, and others were either pet-less, or didn’t bring their dogs – but all employees interacted with the dogs at some point during the day. Employees also gave saliva samples to researchers several times a day, over a one-week period, to test for stress hormone levels. And they completed a questionnaire asking things like “How happy are you at work?”
The results were shocking. Company-wide, all employees had much higher job satisfaction than dog-free workplaces. And employees who brought their dogs to work were much more relaxed than other workers. In fact, during the course of the workday, their stress levels plummeted 11 percent.
So, why are dogs great stress busters? Studies show that having a dog nearby gives you an instant dose of feel-good dopamine. Then when your attention turns back to work, you’re more focused and have a clearer head. Researchers say the benefits of allowing dogs in the workplace are huge – since studies show that stress is a major contributor to employee absenteeism, burnout, and lower morale and productivity.
But even though doggie benefits are big, it might not be a good move for all companies. After all, some workers are allergic or deathly afraid of dogs. And others feel that having dogs around is distracting.
So, would you like to bring your dog to work? Would you be happy if other people did?