Dogs In The Office


| 6 Comments

dog_office.jpg


If you're a pet owner you know what I'm talking about when I say that we all have a special place in our hearts for our animals, especially our dogs. I mean they are know as "mans best friend" for a reason. So can bringing your dog to work actually reduce workplace stress? Researchers say yes.


In an article published by the Huffington Post entitled Bringing Your Dog To Work Could Help Lower Stress, the author details how having your dog with you in the workplace significantly impacts stress levels. In a study conducted by the Virginia Commonwealth University, researchers conducted a study off 550 people working at a pet friendly Greensboro, N.C. based manufacturing retail company named Replacements, Ltd.  Three different groups were formed; employees with dogs who brought them to work, employees with dogs who did not bring them to work, and those employees who did not have dogs (Chan). "All the employees filled out surveys and produced samples of their saliva to gauge levels of stress hormones" (Chan).


The results were that all employees started the day out with stress hormone levels that were relatively alike but as the day progressed the employees who brought their dogs to work had declining levels of self-reported stress. Self reported stress had risen throughout the day for employees who did not bring their dogs to work (Chan). In addition "researchers also noted that the employees were making positive comments like 'pets in the workplace can be a great bonus for employee morale ...' and 'having dogs here is great stress relief'" (Chan).


In 2008 a national poll of Americans 18+ reported that 17% of their companies were pet friendly (Swan). It was reported in USA Today that a 2009 survey showed that 20% of companies were pet friendly (Chan). It is clear there is a positive correlation between pets in the workplace and less stress and it seems that as time goes on more and more employers are taking advantage of the benefits that come with being a pet friendly company.



Sources:

http://fortheloveofthedogblog.com/news-updates/june-25-is-take-your-dog-to-work-day-tydtwd

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/02/27/pets-reduce-stress-welcome-workplace/1951957/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/01/bringing-dog-to-work-stress_n_1391420.html

6 Comments

I love dogs, I don't have a dog but when I'm with my friends who do have dogs I always feel better. I think dogs know when you're upset and try to make you feel better. Last semester there was a rumor around campus about a puppy room during finals week. This would have been a perfect idea because after you hang out with a cute little puppy you don't feel as stressed and I think I would be more likely to feel up to studying for my finals. A lot of other schools offer this and I think penn state should too. http://articles.philly.com/2010-05-07/news/24958399_1_benefits-of-pet-therapy-dogs-penn-students

Morgan,
When it comes to animals in general I believe they lower stress. Their calm or genuinely happy demeanor allows for people to relax and forget about their problems. They focus on the furriness of an animal and suddenly the whole world doesn't exist anymore. This is why for ill children pet therapy exists. This notion of animal therapy supports your notion of a higher morale in a work place because it has the same effect on people. The link below explains how dogs can help kids in a hospital setting and even brings up the owners spirits when they bring them!
http://www.tdi-dog.org/OurPrograms.aspx?Page=Hospitals+(Children's)

This is very interesting, but I wonder how the control group of those employees without dogs did as far as stress. Is it possible that the dog itself doesn't lower stress but instead being away from the dog causes stress? It would also be interesting to see whether or not the same theory applies for other animals such as cats, or even fish. There is much more on this topic that could be explored! Dogs are often used used to calm and relax patients in hospitals for example, but could this be expanded? http://www.disabled-world.com/disability/serviceanimals/therapy-dogs.php

I love dogs, but it's crazy to think that my love for them can actually have healing powers. I personally know someone who was very sick and used her dog to help heal her. As much as I love dogs and want to believe they have healing powers, a part of me wonders if it's mental. One article I found stated that dogs have the ability to calm you down and relieve stress, but scientists have yet to discover what else they can do. With all of the success stories of animals healing patients, it makes me wonder if we are actually healing ourselves, by convincing our bodies that the animals will heal us. The article states "theres no question they give us emotional support," but does it go beyond that?

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/01/08/the-healing-power-of-dogs/?_r=0

I love this post! Having dogs around while doing work would be ideal for me. But it made me think of my sister. At her work there are cats roaming around and I wondered if they had the same impact on people or if they were just there because the boss liked them.
Apparently they do the same thing for people! Assuming these people like cats of course. http://www.aarp.org/relationships/pets/info-06-2010/take-your-dog-to-work.html This website tells this, although it is more aimed towards dogs, other animals are also included in the statistics. It really can depend on preference!

Dogs sure are a man's best friend. I've heard about this on various occasions and think that it is great to have dogs around especially if you can notice a significant difference in stress. Did you know that Penn State and other universities have dogs at finals time in order to eleviate stress from students? Heres an article from the Collegian about when they had dogs here for us! http://www.collegian.psu.edu/news/article_caa22216-375c-11e3-940b-001a4bcf6878.html

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