The benefits of pets in the workplace

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A recent discussion in the office has generated a lot of excitement around the subject of pets in the workplace. A number of well-known organisations such as Google, Ben & Jerry's and Amazon already welcome dogs into their corporate headquarters - is this something more organisations should reap the benefits of? 

A preliminary study at the International Journal of Workplace Health Management by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University's School of Business has shown that employees who have dogs in the workplace had better job satisfaction and lower stress levels compared to those who don't. Having a dog in the office also had a positive impact on productivity. The study showed that for the employees who brought their dogs into work about half reported that the dog was important to their productivity.

Providing no-one suffers from an allergy or has a dislike of dogs there are a variety of reasons to consider allowing a pet in the office:
  • Lower stress levels - Stress can have a negative effect on employees, including increased absenteeism, lower productivity and lower morale. The study showed that the employees with no dog had higher stress levels at the end of the day than those who had a dog in the workplace.
  • Improve workplace relations - A dog in the office can bring people together who would not normally converse on a day to day basis and encourage collaboration.
  • Health benefits – An office dog encourages staff to take proper breaks and take the dog for a walk which is a much better option than working through lunch or eating lunch at your desk.
  • Morale booster - Having a dog in the office is a great way to break the day up and build trust between employees.
  • For employers, allowing dogs in the office could serve as a relatively cheap way to keep staff happy and promote wellbeing.

Do you have experience of pets in the workplace? We are keen to hear your thoughts!