A recent study by Virginia Commonwealth University shows that dogs in the workplace reduce stress, improve communication, and increase job satisfaction among employees. According to a press release of their findings:
Stress is a major contributor to employee absenteeism, morale and burnout and results in significant loss of productivity and resources. But a preliminary study, published in the March issue of the International Journal of Workplace Health Management, found that dogs in the workplace may buffer the impact of stress during the workday for their owners and make the job more satisfying for those with whom they come into contact.
The study, performed at Replacements, Ltd., an organization that employs around 550 people and has 20 to 30 dogs present each day, monitored levels of stress-hormones present in employees’ saliva throughout the day as well as written surveys from participants. Researchers compared results from 3 different groups: those who bring their dog to work, those who leave their dog at home, and those without dogs. Clearly evident in the research was a decline in stress throughout the day for those who brought their dog to work or interacted with them during the day, and an increase in stress for those that didn’t.
In addition to lowered stress for those that brought their dog to work, increased communication – even exercise – was seen in employees across all three groups. Often, they observed an employee without their own dog offering to take a coworker’s dog out for a short walk.
Principal investigator, Randolph T. Barker, Ph.D., professor of management in the VCU School of Business, said, “Pet presence may serve as a low-cost, wellness intervention readily available to many organizations and may enhance organizational satisfaction and perceptions of support.”
So, print this article or share it with your boss – maybe you’ll soon be bringing your furry family member to work with you!
Do you work in an office that allows dogs in the workplace? Tell us about your experience!