Having an Office Dog May Reduce Employee Stress

July 24, 2012

office dog tiger

Work can be incredibly stressful and frustrating sometimes for pretty much everyone. While, of course, there are numerous ways employers can attempt to reduce employee stress and improve morale, there is one particular way that we are totally on board with. Getting an office dog.

This isn’t simply a hunch either. Researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Business published an article in March that investigated the effects of having an office dog and thought that it can reduce stress and improve job satisfaction for all. As reported by CNN, Randolph Barker, a management professor, studied levels of stress in employees who worked at businesses who have allowed pooches in the workplace for many years. These places would have up to 30 dogs in the office a day.

office dog
Office dog, Rabobi, who heads to a web development agency with his owner (Credit: Rosie Hoare)

After measuring the stress levels of 76 employees (some with a dog, some who didn’t bring their dog and some that didn’t own a dog) the study found that at the end of the day stress levels were much higher in employees who did not bring their dogs to work. Those who brought Fido along had lower stress levels throughout the day and half of them thought their dogs helped them be more productive. Even those people who didn’t have dogs in the office overwhelmingly felt that their presence had no negative effect.

google office dog
Google allows dogs at the office (Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty images)

Barker also found that dogs in the workplace are “communication energizers.” They encourage conversation amongst employees and increase interaction. Additionally, he thinks that having dogs in the office can make employees feel that their organization supports them in a great way

Of course, anecdotally, people can vouch for the wonderful presence of dogs in the office. CNN reports on an architectural firm whose Jack Russel terrier, Tiger (in the main image), works as a great marketing tool who falls asleep on clients’ shoes. At a web and app development company, a border collie named Rabobi responds to commands in English, German and Polish and helps bring up the spirits of all around him.

Do you get to bring your dog to the office? If so, how do you think it makes your experience different? Tell us on our Facebook page under the post about this article!

Sources: CNN, Main image via CNN/Rosie Hoare

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