There’s more than just ping pong tables, beers on tap, and gym memberships to make for a fun workplace environment. Take Your Dog to Work Day occurs once a year in June to celebrate our furry companions, but research has shown that there is a myriad of reasons for employers to provide a dog-friendly workplace and make every day Take Your Dog to Work Day. Many universities have already caught on to the benefits of having our four-legged friends around, and have implemented therapeutic “puppy rooms” for students to deal with study stress. There’s no reason why workplaces shouldn’t do the same for employees when times get a little ruff.
How can anyone resist those cheerful eyes and wagging tails? Our furry friends actually provide the perfect mental breathers from a stressful task; you would be surprised what a short five-block walk with your pooch can do for the brain. We already know they need regular walks, but we do, too! Studies have also shown that playful interactions with animals can help increase the level of oxytocin—a stress-reducing hormone—and decrease the production of cortisol—a stress hormone.
A study by the International Journal of Workplace Health and Management reported that workplaces that allow dogs have scored higher on multiple job satisfaction subscales than those workplaces that prohibit dogs. Companies who are pro-puppy have also claimed that a pet-friendly policy has led to employee retention and performance in the long run.
Did you know that a dog-friendly workplace heightens the sense of camaraderie amongst team members? Central Michigan University’s psychologists conducted a study, where 120 individuals were placed into groups of four, with and without dogs, and given the task to create a short advertisement. The dogs provided comfort and allowed groups with dogs to have a higher frequency of discussion and deeper conversations than groups without dogs. As a result, individuals in groups with dogs rated each other higher on measures of intimacy, team cohesion, and mutual trust.
Ever feel a little husky? Our bodies benefit from walks as much as dogs do, but not just appearance-wise. Regular dog walks promote good exercise habits, improves muscle tone, increase lung capacity, and enhance bone health. And like any other cardiovascular activity, walking boosts endorphins, and endorphins make people happy!
Pawthorize your workplace!
No, this isn’t a hypothesis, and it isn’t an experiment; this is based on established scientific research. Based on these benefits, wouldn’t you agree that any employer would be barking mad to not employ a dog-friendly workplace? Our furry best friends keep us high-spirited, healthy, and united. And we all know just how important #squads are these days. Share with us your paws for thought. Tell us how you feel about workplaces allowing dogs.