It’s common knowledge by now that pets help reduce stress. Besides the multiple studies that have come to this conclusion, who doesn’t feel better after petting a happy dog or cuddling with a sleeping cat? A well-behaved and affectionate pet can be an antidote to many a rough day or stressful situation and employers are starting to take note.
Back in 2012, Professor Randolph Barker from the Virginia Commonwealth University led a study that found tangible evidence that bringing dogs into the workplace decreases average stress levels. And it’s not just workday stress that dogs in the office help combat; bringing a pet to work has been shown to boost the overall mood, health, and productivity of employees. People who work in pet-friendly offices have noted that having man’s best friend hanging around does more than just reduce stress. When Nestle’s headquarters instituted their PAW (Pets at Work) program, many employees saw their interactions with coworkers increase as people went out of their way to meet the dogs or lingered in hallways and offices to have conversations with pets and owners they didn't previously know. Similarly, having pets in the office helps people stay refreshed and productive as taking the time to pet a dog or go on a short, but necessary, walk can force employees to take much needed breaks from their desks.
When bringing dogs into the office, it’s always important to know their temperament and whether coworkers have severe allergies or discomfort with the pets. Overall, however, employers who allow dogs into the office are finding it to be a great decision for morale and building a positive work environment. And clearly, here at the Green Scene we agree. We take it to heart that dogs make great coworkers, which is why when our official greeter, Barkley, comes by, he's always ready to boost your mood…and of course get pats. He will even entertain your children while you shop.
For more information on dogs in the workplace, check out:
"More Companies, Citing Benefits, Allow Pets at Work." by Raygan Swan, USA Today, February 27, 2013
"Paws for Thought: Why Allowing Dogs in the Office is a Good Idea." by Donna Ferguson, The Guardian, May 18, 2016