benefits of pets in the workplace

The Benefits of Pets in the Workplace

June 22 is Bring Your Dog to Work Day! Launched in 1999 by Pet Sitters International (PSI), it’s an annual event celebrated on the Friday after Father’s Day.  Are you bringing your dog to work?

Over the past few years more and more businesses have embraced the concept of a pet-friendly workplace. Think it’s crazy? Believe it or not, pets improve productivity!

Here are three benefits of pets in the workplace:

Longer hours worked, better employee retention: Employees won’t have to rush home early to take their dog out for a walk, so will be willing to stay later. Plus, they have company while they do! Allowing employees to bring their dogs to work can improve retention. According to Fortune, employees in non-pet-friendly workplaces say they would be more likely to stay with their company if they were allowed to bring their pet.

Strong social connections. Colleagues that bring their dogs to work get up and interact with each other. Dogs can be great conversation starters, and can really take the awkwardness out of a conversation. Colleagues with dogs can take them out on walks together, building camaraderie.

Stress reduction: Petting dogs reduces blood pressure, skin temperature, and heart rate. Plus, employees won’t have the added worry of what’s happening with their dog home alone. The International Journal of Workplace Health Management conducted a study of dogs in the workplace that compared a group of employees that brought dogs to a group that didn’t. The dog group was reported to have significant lower stress than the group with no dogs at the end of the work day.

Is your office pet-friendly? If you’re planning to bring in your dog, keep a few things in mind:

Check about allergies. You’d want your dog to improve your office environment, not disrupt it. If any of the colleagues who sit in your area are allergic to dogs, it might not be the best idea to bring yours in!

Maintain vaccinations and flea medication. Especially if there are other dogs around. You don’t want your dog to spread fleas and other diseases, and you don’t want them to get sick either.

Introduce dogs slowly. When you’re bringing your dog into an office that already has dogs, you want them to get along. Bring them to a neutral area to meet each other and separate them if things get a little crazy.

Whether or not you bring your furry best friend to work, there’s no denying it — dogs make the workplace more fun!