Yes, you heard me right. And no, you’re not dreaming. There have been a number of studies conducted over the years which prove that bringing your four-legged furry friend to the office has a number of mental, social and productivity benefits to both employees and the company.
Many companies are adopting this new canine approach, including big names such as Google, Ben & Jerry’s and Amazon, just to name a few. These pet-friendly offices are a growing trend across many countries around the world, and it’s not hard to see why. While yes, I am a little biased to the pros of this topic as I am a dog owner myself, and yes my dream job would include a workplace which allowed me to bring her to work, but the positive facts to having a canine co-worker don’t lie.
Lower stress levels
Just seeing those adorable, cheerful eyes of a dog can be an incredible mood booster and brighten the worst of days. However, not only can they make you feel a little happier and bring a smile to your face, but just having dogs around the office and playing with a little, furry pal can reduce stress levels by up to a third in employees. When there’s a tough deadline to reach and you’re overworking yourself or you’re just incredibly busy and stressed out, a simple little cuddle or smile from a friendly pooch can help you work more calmly, productively and efficiently.
There are also physical benefits from having a pet-friendly office environment. Having dogs in the workplace gives employees a reason to get up from their desks and take a healthy break. These kinds of short breaks away from your desk to spend quality time with a furry friend helps employee productivity, allows the brain to relax and increases inspiration. A study by the Journal of Experimental Psychology proved that going for a walk boosts creative thinking up to 60%, compared to sitting. And what’s a better excuse to get out and move around than to take a dog for a walk, or in my case, have the dog walk you.
Having dogs around the office is an incredible bonding tool, not only for employee relationships but also for building a company bond with clients. Naturally, dogs are a social catalyst which help start up new conversations between co-workers who you previously had little interaction with or new clients visiting the office. It has been proven that people are more trusting, connected and nicer towards each other within a pet-friendly workplace, which leads to a more engaged and collaborative team environment. If taking the massive leap to becoming a full-time, pet-friendly company is a bit too daunting at first, even offering a special day for employees to bring in pets can be a great, in-expensive business tool to add benefits and reward your dedicated team.
Staying back later
If you’re a pet owner, like myself, who can’t wait to get home and be excitedly greeted upon by my furry friend, then being able to bring your dog to work can also help to boost employee willingness to stay back later. Some pet owners may be worried about their pets sitting at home all day and therefore feel guilty for staying back later to finish off a project. However, if your furry pal is right by your side, there’s less commitments to race home too.
Ultimately, for dog owners who can take their best friend into work with them, your dogs will thank you too. Now, instead of being left at home, all alone for the entire day while you’re gone, they can now sit comfortably in an air-conditioned environment and receive endless attention, pats and cuddles. Is that not the ultimate dream for a pup?
Okay, so while there may be so many wonderful reasons as to why having a dog-friendly office is a great idea for companies, I do acknowledge that some employees may have allergies or just aren’t dog people (who are these people?) or are simply just not a big fan on the idea. Therefore, it’s important to have a conversation with everyone in the office and even set up some basic house rules to make sure every employee is happy with the arrangements.
To be honest, I could probably go on and on about the benefits of bringing a four-legged furry friend to the workplace, but I think I’ve made my point. Besides, who can say no to those little beady puppy eyes??
“I think the reason we are born with two hands is so we can pet two dogs at once.”