How Dogs Affect Work Productivity

How Dogs Affect Work Productivity
Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich:

When research suggests that dogs can help curb stress, does it not make sense to take them along in the most stressful environment like the office? Many workplaces are adopting the culture of bringing pets to work to ensure employees are more comfortable in the work environment. It reduces stress levels and improves productivity, clearly stating that it is an effective strategy. Hence, let us understand how dogs affect work productivity in detail.

Is Your Office Pet Ready?

A dog in a workplace definitely becomes a companion to everyone and helps become a de-stressor, but before you decide to take your four-legged friend to work, is your office pet ready? Determine it by following these steps.

  1. Check if the office building allows pets in the first place.
  2. Find out if your colleagues are comfortable being around a pet
  3. Learn more about the temperament of the dog’s breed from Trending Dog Breeds to ensure they are good around crowds.
  4. Make sure the work culture in the office is such that it can accommodate a pet. If the office demands extreme concentration and client meetings that should go uninterrupted, it may not be a good idea.
  5. Ensure the office can offer a space for the dog to rest and a personal restroom just in case.
  6. Ensure the animal is healthy and non-aggressive before getting it to work.
  7.  If your colleagues also get their pets, you should ensure you get your dog only if it socializes well with other dogs.
  8. If your dog barks a lot, it is probably not a good idea to get it to work.

Benefits of Pet in the Workplace:

1. Improved Work-Life Balance:

Companies such as Etsy and Amazon have been open to bringing pets to the workplace due to their positive effect on work-life balance. When employees need to work long hours, it passes easily as their pet is around to help them take necessary breaks. Pets also remind people to pause work which is very important in the workplace that many forget. Temporary distractions let you take mental breaks to reduce stress. Pets also keep your spirit high at work, along with adding certain comic relief so that the environment does not get very serious at work.

2. Makes You Active:

When you do an 8 hours desk job, your lifestyle can get sedentary. Bringing a pet to work means taking it for short walks, ensuring you move around a bit, and not just sit at your desk the entire day. Employees that bring their pets to work gain physical benefits over others.

3. Reduced Stress:

This is a known fact that pets can reduce stress, and when you get one at the workplace, it can help many employees reduce stress. The office can be a stressful environment for many when you are bombarded with close deadlines and a massive amount of work. The work stress can be bad for their mental health and productivity in the long term. Breaking this stress with a dog around means cutting the issue at the root level so that the employees do not suffer from mental health issues in the future.

4. Improved Productivity:

Employees who bring their pets with them at work enjoy their work more, and they are known to experience a higher level of professional satisfaction. Their stress level is low, and they get to take breaks constantly. This only means their mind is active always, and they are more productive when they get to the desk. They are not frustrated about work, which makes them enjoy and do it better.

5. Calm Mood:

Dogs are known to improve the mood of humans around them. Petting a dog releases happy hormones and lowers cortisol, known as the stress hormone. Not just you but your colleagues will also benefit from this as they will feel happier if a dog is around.

6. Employees Worry Less for their Dog:

Many employees who live alone with their dogs leave their dogs home alone for hours. This means they are always worried and stressed if the dog is ok. Also, they would wish to wind up work faster and go home quickly to the pet. When the dog is allowed at work, the employees can work peacefully, knowing it is safe with them. This also means they will readily put in extra hours without thinking much to get the work done because they have their pet in front of them and are not in a hurry anymore.

7. Improves Team building:

Offices that allow pets help their colleagues communicate more at work who usually did not talk much to each other. Pets become a common topic of communication, and employees began to interact more activity about it; hence they know more about each other and enjoy working together.

8. Reduction in the Number of Absences:

The advantage of having a stress-free work environment due to pets helps reduce absences as people enjoy coming to work now. Also, pet owners do not need to worry about leaving their pets alone at home; hence they are more regular to work.

The Bottom Line:

As dogs have gotten used to being around their owners the entire day during the lockdown, leaving them home alone suddenly may seem extreme and make them anxious. It only makes sense to bring the dog to work if your organization allows it. So, should you bring your dog to work? Well, only if it is used to being around a large team. The environmental change should also not stress the dog. You should be able to organize a space for the dog so that it does not get disturbed the entire day by people walking by. You also need to initially keep its interactions with other employees limited and gradually increase them. You will have to instruct your colleague not to feed the dog, which will upset its digestive system. If you feel your pet is stressed, you should be able to leave the office and drop it home.

There are a lot of considerations you need to work upon before you can enjoy having your pet with you at work every day.