It’s ‘Take Your Dog To Work Day’ on Friday, 21 June, started by Pet Sitters International in 1999. Taking ‘man’s best friend’ into work can have numerous positive health benefits for employees and the work environment.
Google, Amazon and Ben & Jerry’s all have pet-friendly policies, which is a positive sign that could encourage other companies to follow suit. However, it’s also important to be aware of allergies, phobias, making sure the dogs are well trained, well behaved and have a calm temperament. Make sure your workspace is dog proof through preparation, such as preventing chewing on cords or tipping over the trash. Here are some health benefits for bringing your dog to work.
Keep you Active
Having a dog at work optimises the opportunity to exercise during lunch breaks or going for a short walk during the day. It is unhealthy to sit for long periods of time in the office, and it can be good to stand up and walk around or play with the dog in order to briefly look away from the screen. Exercise has many add on benefits for physical and mental health. Employees with their dogs at work are likely to get out and about at coffee breaks. The physical exercise will help with their state of mind and productivity for the rest of the day.
There is a calming effect of petting your dog. Playing with or petting an animal can increase levels of the stress-reducing hormone oxytocin and lower hormonal stress levels. Dogs by your side can make you feel happy, lower one’s stress levels, and creates an environment that is comfortable and flexible. The process of patting and stroking a dog reduces the blood pressure, allows your body to be in a more relaxed state, and makes you feel better. Overall, dogs in your office could help lessen a significant amount of stress in the workplace environment.
Increase Employee Teamwork and Satisfaction
The presence of dogs can improve productivity, work satisfaction, and encourage team work. Dogs can improve morale, as Dogs can help lighten the mood when things get stressful. They can increase communication and socialisation between co-workers. The presence of a dog in a group work setting can encourage participants to be more cooperative, communicative, and friendly toward each other. Pets can help break down barriers to social reaction by allowing a pathway to conversation.
Boost Cardiovascular Health
Owning a dog can significantly lower your risk of developing heart disease, and is beneficial for one’s mental and physical health. Dogs at work encourage frequent, healthy breaks. Whether it’s a lunchtime walk or a moment of play, dogs help employees relax, and return to work energised and recharged. If companies encourage pet ownership amongst their employees by letting them bring their dogs to work, it is possible to be rewarded by a healthier workforce with fewer sick days.
Allowing dogs to come to work, may eliminate the need to find a dog sitter. It can also allow a better work-life balance. Having a dog policy at work can make it easier for employees who may need to stay late at work. It can also eliminate the guilt of leaving the dog at home all day. It is also beneficial for the dog’s well-being, as it means that it isn’t sitting at home or alone in the back yard all day by itself.
Social Support for Humans
Dogs love to give attention, and don’t tend to judge anyone. If you’re having an off day, they are happy to give you cheerful attention, regardless of what is going on with your life. This can greatly uplift your mood, and it can be an extra emotional support for you and your staff. Dogs are social creatures, loving to be included in their owners’ daily activities. It’s fun for dogs to be out and about with humans, and it’s good for their psychological and physical health too.
Increase Relational Interactions
Relational interaction are beneficial for our mental health, as it allows us to communicate and express with one another. Dogs allow an increased ease and frequency of conversations between friends, family, colleagues and strangers. The human social connections in your workplace will be enhanced by having dogs amongst your team’s work environment.
Positive Work Environment
Dogs can bring a positive environment, as dogs that are used to being out and about with their owners tend to be more relaxed, better socialised and easier to be around than dogs that are left on their own. The process of spending time in a wide variety of social situations can lead to positive conditioning for dogs, helping them to be friendly and easy-going animals. The more positive experiences that a dog enjoys, the easier they tend to feel comfortable and interact with people.