Bringing dogs into the office is becoming mainstream and we couldn’t be yappier about it!
A recent study from the Virginia Commonwealth University found that employees who brought their dogs to work experienced lower levels of stress, reported higher levels of job satisfaction, and had a more positive perception of their employer.
Stress is the main cause of absenteeism and low morale and burnout in employees. This results in loss of productivity and resources. But canine colleagues have been proven to improve staff wellbeing and productivity.
Acting as a social support, dogs bring comforts like a warm and sociable atmosphere – a home away from home. It has been found that dogs play a large role in helping those with mental health issues remain employed. 10 minutes of play can significantly reduce our levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. Dog play can re-centre us, benefiting everyone in the office.
Days lost to stress, anxiety and depression each year is on a steady increase in the UK. Mindful initiatives are important to try boost moral. However our fluffy little friends have the potential to do this instantly.
Acting as natural social facilitators, dogs bring people together who may not have otherwise met. Research has shown that people who have a dog are regarded in a more positive light and attract more beneficial social interactions. Therefore, this could improve moral and create a positive social environment in the office. The dogs will be happier too for spending more time with their owners and socialising with other dogs and colleagues.
People easily bond over animals as it facilitates small talk. Employees will end up discussing interests when interacting with their pets. These seemingly inane conversations are far from worthless. Although small talk has no real objective it’s very important in helping us bond with other people. However, due to various reasons such as introversion or low self esteem, some may find this harder than others.
Having dogs could create a friendly and well-connected workplace culture. When people feel they belong to a meaningful group, they are more generous with their time as they’re committed to people, not just the job. Furthermore, collaboration leads to innovation– so increasing collaborative fun spaces could increase business.
It might be hard to believe. But productivity increases when an office dog is present. Employees will be more prompted to take regular breaks which have been proven to increase concentration and successful completion of tasks. Taking breaks from our mental work boosts energy and results in better performance.
Our brains need to be stimulated. This will not happen without a diversion to realign ourselves with a renewed sense of purpose. A simple ten minute break can help us recharge and see something from a new perspective or give us insights unseen before.
Millennials love this new trend. According to research, 42 per cent of workers aged 18-34 across the UK enjoy, or would like, a dog-friendly workplace; a quarter of them says that it would make a company more attractive to them. Listing office dogs as an employee benefit is surely going to bring in some top talent.
Having a dog also acts as a great ice breaker and makes the workplace more attractive for new employees. It doubles up as a great recruiting opportunity and a low cost wellness benefit. Forget yoga or gym memberships and introduce dog-friendly policies!