Benefits of a Pet-Friendly Workplace

March 13, 2024

The Goodest Workmates

Australia has one of the highest rates of pet ownership, with almost 70 per cent of households including a pet as part of the family. Almost half of these pets are dogs.

The potential for pets to boost a person’s mood and wellbeing has been well-documented. Having dogs in the workplace can have a positive influence on office mood and decrease stress.

At Index, we’re lucky enough to work alongside the very wonderful Winnie, companion for our colleague Sophie who is vision impaired. Winnie is a good girl who will affectionately will often curl up under your feet at your desk, visit you for a pat or bring her stuffed bumblebee around for a little play. Everyone is always happy to get a visit from Winnie; it’s as if she promotes a sense of warmth and love in our office.

It’s great news that an increasing amount of organisations are allowing employees to bring their furry friends into the office as companions or schedule a Bring Your Dog To Work Day.  An oft-cited study by researchers at the Virginia Commonwealth University Center for Human-Animal Interaction found that the benefits of having dogs in the office weren’t just limited to the dogs’ guardians. Even colleagues who didn’t have pets of their own were found to directly benefit from the presence of pups for a number of reasons.

More Hound, More Happy

Dogs help reduce stress levels, and increase productivity and morale. The above study found that job satisfaction levels of both owners and non-owners increased significantly versus the norm group, indicative of a more engaged and happier workforce.

Another study indicates that increased exposure to canines could increase the release levels of oxytocin (known as the love hormone). Amongst other things, oxytocin has been proven to improve social skills, reduce stress levels and promote generosity – all important components of building positive working relationships.

Pooches Are a Plus For Present and Prospective Employees

Most people love the idea of working with dogs. Workplace doggos can help you both attract and retain staff – once an employee is able to regularly take their companion into work, it’ll take a lot for them to give that up.

Being dog-friendly is also an enticing proposition for potential staff, and not just those with dogs – it promotes a friendly working environment that can give a business a competitive edge when attracting talent or clients.

Man’s Best Friend Can Help Make Friends

A happy tail-wag can encourage a good chin-wag as VCU’s aforementioned study refers to dogs as a ‘social lubricant’: “When there were dogs at the office, we found that people who normally wouldn’t talk to each other did and that all of a sudden there was a connection and a feeling that they were part of a team.”

Four-Legged Friends Help You Get on Your Two Legs

We all know the benefits of regularly getting up from your desk and going for a walk. Unsurprisingly, the presence of dogs encourages this. Like us, dogs need to get outside for breaks throughout the working day.

Perhaps your office is not yet ready to allow pets in the office regularly, and that’s OK – it’s not easy to suddenly implement a plan that allows dogs in the office all day, every day. Policies need to be created and ratified for this to occur, building managers need to approve the practice, there needs to be a general consensus of approval from staff – it’s a process.

You may suggest participating in Take Your Dog to Work Day on, which falls on Friday 21st June in 2024. This could serve as the perfect ‘trial run’ for your office and it is also a terrific means of promoting pet adoption. If you are thinking about taking part, have a read of the RSPCA’s tips on what you should consider before taking your dog to the office and spend a day in the company of the best bright-eyed buddies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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