Keeping a dog around the office can reduce stress

 
September 21st, 2016
Office dog

Can you imagine if every day was Bring Your Pet to Work day?

Studies are showing more and more that having a pooch in the office might do wonders for reducing stress, which in turn can increase workplace productivity.

One such study comes from the International Journal of Workplace Health Management, which, since being published in 2012, has continued to be the source of inspiration for the introduction of dogs into workplaces.

The study found that workers exposed to a dog at the workplace had significantly lower stress levels by the end of the day, compared to workers who had a dog-free working environment. To show that these people weren’t just naturally more easy-going, the dogs were removed for a few days, and the stress levels of these workers went up in a similar pattern as the dog-free group’s did.

It’s not just white-collar offices that can reap the stress reducing benefits either – blue-collar workers in environments like garages or factories could also find their day significantly easier to get through with the addition of a pooch or two.

Of course there are a number of logistical concerns, and showing up to work with your dog without first discussing it with your manager might be a bit of a faux pas. Some people in the office may be allergic, or even terrified of dogs, potentially as the result of past trauma. Toilet trips would also have to be organised to prevent an unfortunate situation (and odour) from developing, as would the provision of water, and somewhere for the dog to sit or snooze.

Only dogs were used in the study, but if your workplace can’t accommodate something so time intensive as a dog, consider introducing a smaller, more manageable pet and see if it makes your working day any easier to get through.

The study was conducted by researchers from the Virginia Commonwealth University, in the US, and goes to show that quality time with our four-legged best friends need not be confined to either side of the working day.


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