Once upon a time, the idea of bringing your dog to work would have been out of the question – it’s probably not even something that would have been thought of or come up in conversation. However, things have changed, and a lot of people work from home now, so they can have a dog with them all the time if they want to.
Of course, some people don’t want to or can’t work from home, but that doesn’t mean they have to leave their canine companions home alone. Some workplaces are realizing just how great a dog in the office can be, and they’re allowing people to bring their pets to work. Read on to find out what the benefits of doing this are so that if you have the chance to bring your dog to work, you can take it.
Stress Reduction And Better Mental Health
It doesn’t matter what kind of work you do or what level you might be working at, sometimes it can be very stressful, and if you want to keep your health in good shape, reducing your stress levels is important. One way to do that might be to have a dog – or a number of dogs – in the workplace. Dogs are well known for being excellent at giving emotional support (even if they don’t realize what they’re doing), and when employees are feeling anxious or overwhelmed, having a dog nearby can provide them with the emotional support they need to feel better.
The studies carried out to determine what it is about dogs that make people feel calmer have found that interacting with dogs can lower cortisol levels, and this is important to know. Cortisol is a hormone associated with stress, and too much cortisol can lead to various health issues, like high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease. A study published in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management found that employees who had regular contact with dogs at work had much less cortisol in their bodies than those who didn’t. If nothing else, this is a definite positive reason to allow dogs at work.
Another way that dogs can help reduce stress in the workplace is that they’ll encourage their owners (or anyone who happens to be taking care of them, depending on the setup and what it allows) to take regular breaks, which they might not do otherwise. A dog needs to play and be exercised regularly, and they’ll want attention from time to time. They’ll also need to be fed, and their water has to be changed. All of this means that anyone dealing with a dog in the office has to stop what they’re doing and help the animal. Since taking breaks is crucial for good mental health and less stress (not to mention better productivity), this is a great reason to have a dog around you in the office.
Increased Employee Morale And Happiness
Employee morale and happiness is something to take very seriously; if someone isn’t happy in their work and doesn’t enjoy what they’re doing, they won’t put in as much effort as they would if they felt great and comfortable in the office. Employee morale has a direct impact on productivity and the overall performance of the business, so it’s important to do what you can to improve employee morale, whether you’re the boss or one of the workers. As you might expect, allowing dogs in the workplace can have a hugely positive impact on morale.
One way it can help is to make people feel more at home. After all, having a pet is something many of them will be accustomed to, and they’ll be more at ease and more comfortable in the office if there’s a pet around them, just like at home (even more so if it’s their specific pet, of course, but any dog works well). Plus, as we said earlier, dogs reduce stress, and a less stressed worker is sure to be a happier one, and they’ll also be more focused and better able to tackle challenges with a positive mindset.
Something else that a dog can bring to the table is a sense of community and great team spirit. The shared responsibility of caring for a dog at work means that people who might not otherwise have connected will definitely have something in common. Taking breaks to play with the dog or walk them and so on could mean interacting with people you wouldn’t have seen otherwise, and with everyone being happy around the dog, it means friendships are easily made and can grow from there. When employees feel as though they have a place in the company, they’ll work harder and have higher morale levels, and this is precisely what these connections will give people.
If you want your team to be more motivated, what better way to do it than to have a dog in the workplace? People are going to be much happier to come to work when they can see the office dog (or bring their own dog – whatever works best).
Finally, you’re sure to have reduced employee turnover when there’s a dog in the office, or a dog-friendly policy in place. This can be costly and cause a lot of disruption, so if having dogs at work is something that helps prevent that from happening, it’s a great idea.
Better Work-Life Balance
Achieving a healthy work-life balance is a constant challenge for everyone, even when we know it’s absolutely crucial for health and happiness. The problem is that we often have long working hours, and we’re always connected, so it’s hard to really get away from that mindset – literally and figuratively. This is actually why a lot of people get dogs in the first place, as it helps them have a better work-life balance – they’ll have someone to be responsible for, and they’ll have to take time away from work to do so. But apart from the benefit of ensuring you take breaks that we mentioned above, there are other ways dogs in the office can help with the work-life balance.
To begin with, many dog owners feel horribly guilty when they have to leave their dogs at home all day without them – they’ll be worried all day, and that could mean they’re less productive and focused at work. It makes sense in that case that if the dog isn’t at home at all but is in the office instead, that guilt and concern will disappear, and you or your employee will be able to concentrate on the work that has to be done with fewer distractions (although plenty of all-important breaks).
You’ll also often find that many workplaces that allow dogs adopt a more flexible schedule at work so that everyone’s needs can be accommodated (including the dogs). Whether you need to take your dog to puppy training classes (which can be very important if you want them to behave well in the office, and you can find out more about training your dog when you visit this web page), a vet appointment or you have to go for a walk, you’ll be able to do so. And of course, flexible working is the ideal work-life balance system.
Employees who are better at time management are always going to be able to work out a good work-life balance, no matter how busy they are, and bringing a dog to work is a fun way to improve your own time management. When you know your dog has to be fed at a certain time or walked at a certain time, you’ll be able to prioritize your day to make sure these things happen, and along the way, your time management – and work-life balance – will get better.