Pets in the Workplace

The positive power of workplace pets  

Bringing a four-legged friend to work, not only adds a bit of cuteness to your day, it can also be calming and morale boosting for staff and make everyone more productive to boot!

As well as being beneficial in an office environment, pets can be especially important to those who work alone. If, for example, you’re a landscape gardener or remote freelancer they can help you feel less isolated, and be a welcome distraction.                  

We can all be guilty of getting our heads down and churning through work without so much as a tea break or a chat with a colleague. But although it maybe counterintuitive, breaks are actually good for productivity. And dogs are excellent reminders to take a break. They inspire us to play with them, pet them or pop out for a short walk with them. All great ways to give our brains a bit of respite from the task in hand.   

And, while your brain’s getting a break your body can get a little exercise. It could be that you take the dog for a short walk, or simply walk across the office to go and give him or her a cuddle. Either way, with many adults in the UK spending more than seven hours a day sitting or lying down, small, positive changes like this are not to be sniffed at.

Then there are the social benefits of having a dog or two around the place. Especially if you work in a large office with hundreds of people and several floors, you may never get to know all your colleagues. But add a few dogs into the equation and you’ve got a perfect conversation starter. They can be brilliantly disarming, with pet owners reporting they’ve spoken to colleagues for the first time, simply because a dog was there to initiate things. Add all those new interactions together and you’ve got a warmer, friendlier office with increased morale and better communication between teams and individuals.

As well as being social facilitators, dogs can also be amazingly therapeutic in one on one situations. Work can sometimes be stressful. People can become overwhelmed, get high blood pressure or even burn out eventually. But stroking or simply being around a dog can lower stress, heart rate and blood pressure. And here’s the added bonus: researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia found that while people’s blood pressure dropped when they petted dogs, the dogs’ blood pressure dropped too. Everyone’s a winner!

It’s time to make pets at work, work for you.