Convenience: Bring Pets to Work

Mixed-Breed Dog with Owner at Office

In recent years, workplace trends have started to shift towards the needs of employees. So, it’s no surprise that in some companies, workers are now being allowed to bring their furry friends along with them to the office. Although it may sound like a strange idea to have pets roaming around in a corporate environment, many companies that have tried it say it’s no big deal. Google, Ben & Jerry’s, Zynga, Facebook, Free People, and Amazon are all major companies that allow their employees to bring their dogs to work. And according to recent research, it seems that there are actually advantages to doing so, not only for employees but also for their employers.

Advantages to Employees

According to a study featured in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management, employees who are given the choice to bring their canines to work experience several important health benefits. The first is a reduction in daily stress for not only the owner, but also co-workers. With a dog around, workers who participated in the study reported that they felt less stress. They also reported feeling a greater sense of satisfaction with the job, more support in doing their jobs, and a higher commitment to being productive.

Another major benefit to having dogs or pets in the workplace are the long-term health benefits. The reduction in daily stress alone decreases a person’s risk for heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, and hundreds of other health problems down the line. But in addition to that, having a dog around prevents someone from living a sedentary lifestyle which can be detrimental to long-term health. Employees who bring their dogs to their jobs are forced to get up from their desks more often, making them less likely to suffer the effects of sitting for long periods of time. Not to mention, taking a break to think about something completely off-topic has been shown to stimulate creativity.

Advantages to Employers

While it may seem clear that pet owners would be happier bringing their creatures to work, that isn’t intuitively the case for employers. Just the thought of a dogs running wild in the office might be enough to give any boss a headache. But somehow, it seems to work for those companies that do it. As work culture changes and evolves, it’s no longer the case that employers are dictators who expect their staff to work in a sterile, corporate environment. Innovative companies have realized that employee productivity is inextricably linked to lower stress levels, on-the-job satisfaction, and freedom. Considering all that, it makes sense that an employee who brings his or her dog to the office might be a better and more productive employee compared to one who isn’t allowed that privilege.

However, there are other benefits for employers in addition to the increased productivity of their workforce. Having a dog or a furry friend around promotes a certain emotional connection that is often missing in office environments. According to a study from Central Michigan University, cooperation between employees can be facilitated far more easily with a dog in the room. The study investigated how well employees were able to work together both in the presence and absence of a dog. The results clearly indicated that those colleagues who had a dog around felt more trusting, cooperative, cohesive, and intimate towards each other. Scientists attribute these feelings to the feeling of trust that dogs tend to trigger by stimulating oxytocin levels in the body.

Pros & Cons

When looking at possible job opportunities it is always a good idea to write down a pros and cons list. This can help you to determine what aspects of the job you might like and what aspects you may want to change.

Some important job aspects to consider include possible travel, team outings, casual attire, flexible hours, working from home and more.

Workplace Culture

A workplace culture can have a big impact on your everyday life. If you enjoy work you will be more likely to perform better and stay interested in the tasks at hand.

Some of the ways that companies today are helping to foster a positive work environment is to allow employees access to free food and drink, showers, gym memberships, nap areas and gaming rooms.