Take Your Dog to Work Day officially occurs every year in June. But here at Embark, every day is Take Your Dog to Work Day. We’re fortunate to have a pet-friendly workplace, with several dogs running around the office at any given time.
If we could, we’d bring our dogs everywhere with us. More and more companies are making it easier to do just that, by allowing dogs in the office as a company perk. Besides making for a fun place to work, there are many benefits to a pet-friendly workplace.
1. Reduces stress
For many college students who have played with puppies on campus, it’s no surprise that dogs have been proven to reduce stress levels. The same is true at the office.
Petting a dog for just 10 minutes can help reduce stress, according to a study by Washington State University. And according to this study, employees who brought their dogs to work saw their stress levels drop over the course of the day, compared to those who did not.
There is evidence that interacting with a dog after as little as 3 minutes increases levels of oxytocin, the “happiness” hormone. More oxytocin, in turn, is also associated with lower levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.
2. Supports work–life balance
It can be hard to leave your dog at home all day, for both you and your dog. Being able to take your dog to work means not worrying about how they are doing at home alone (and if they’re getting into mischief while you’re away!). It also means dogs get attention and social stimulation all day, which can benefit their own physical and emotional well-being.
3. Saves employees money
Taking your dog to work can be a financial benefit, as well as an emotional one. Pet-friendly offices allow employees to ditch the costs of dog sitters or dog walkers. As companies try to attract new employees with competitive benefits, the cost savings associated with being able to take your dog to work can be a significant perk.
4. Encourages taking breaks
In any type of work, it’s important to take regular breaks. But when you’re caught up in a busy day, it’s easy to forget that. In fact, research shows that 62% of American workers eat lunch at their desks instead of taking a break for lunch.
Bringing your dog to work gives you a good reason to take regular breaks to get outside, go for a walk, or feed your dog. Taking a mental break before returning to work can stimulate creativity, productivity, and problem-solving. It’s also a great way to sneak in some exercise after sitting at a desk.
5. Creates a friendly environment
A pet-friendly office is a welcoming office. The presence of furry friends creates a supportive atmosphere and a feeling of community. It’s also a great way to better know the people you work with.
Having dogs in the office creates a positive social environment and fosters open communication between coworkers. In a 2019 study, researchers found that people who bring their dogs to work scored above average on having a sense of friendship in the office. A pet-friendly workplace can increase social bonding and teamwork, lighten the mood, and bring people together.
6. Boosts employee morale
It’s probably not a surprise to you that bringing dogs to work results in higher morale and happiness at work. People tend to be more relaxed and happier around dogs, and that applies to the workplace, too. In this 2012 study, employees with dogs consistently scored higher in multiple measures of job satisfaction.
Having dogs in the office results in fewer absences and longer work days, because people don’t need to rush home to walk their dogs. Employees who bring their dogs to the office are often more productive. Just another way that a pet-friendly office can benefit both employees and companies.
7. Makes companies look good
A dog-friendly workplace can be good press for the company, too. Besides the sense of community that dogs can bring to an office, your company becomes more attractive to potential employees as a result. Millennials are heavily influenced by a desire to work in a pet-friendly office, according to Inc., with at least 40% of millennials looking for a dog-friendly workplace. Friendly faces and wagging tails appeal as a perk to most professionals on the hunt for the perfect job.
Check out this video for even more reasons to bring your dog to work:
As much as we love bringing our dogs to work, not all offices are dog-friendly. If you’re returning to a workplace that doesn’t allow pets, your dog might need some time to adjust to staying at home alone. Learn about how to prevent or reduce separation anxiety while you’re away.
If, on the other hand, your office is at home, check out these tips for working from home with a dog.