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The Benefits of Taking Your Pet to Work

The Benefits of Taking Your Pet to Work

By Brie Weiler Reynolds, the Director of Online Content at FlexJobs

Over 70 million households in the U.S. own at least one “companion animal”–dogs, cats, birds, or horses–so it makes sense that more companies are welcoming their employees’ best friends in the office. The companionship offered by these animals at home, and the benefits their friendship provides in terms of health and wellness, can easily translate to a happier and healthier workplace.

Take Your Dog to Work Day is an annual event designed to promote dog adoption, and in 2013, thousands of employers participated in the day by allowing employees to bring their dogs and other animal companions to work. Of course, not all pets are suited for the workplace–horses, for example–but dogs, cats, and other domesticated animals are great candidates for officemates.

Yawning dog credit: mhaw via Flickr

Here are five ways companies can benefit from encouraging employees to bring their pets to work.

Reduced Stress: Service dogs are often called upon to visit patients in hospitals, nursing homes, and areas affected by natural disasters, helping to cheer peoples’ spirits. Friendly dogs in the workplace can do the same! According to a Virginia Commonwealth University study, pets at work help lower cortisol levels and raise productivity, something all workplaces could benefit from.

Increased Trust and Collaboration: Aside from being man’s best friend, it turns out that dogs can be mediators, bridge builders, and productivity coaches, too! Employees are more trusting and collaborative with one another when a dog is present during group meetings, according to a study by Central Michigan University.

Image credit: Nate Steiner via Flickr

Improved Attendance: It’s not scientifically proven, but employees themselves believe that allowing pets in the workplace helps reduce absenteeism, according to a survey conducted by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association.

Enhanced All-Around Wellness: The benefits of a “walking meeting,” where people conduct their regular or impromptu meetings while taking a stroll, have been touted since the days of Aristotle. Particularly with dogs in the workplace who will need to be walked throughout the day, walking meetings can help creativity, collaboration, teamwork, and employee morale. The added benefit is that employees are no longer spending eight hours sitting in a chair, but rather getting outside for fresh air and physical activity.

In the U.S., about 20 percent of companies already allow employees to bring pets to work. If yours isn’t one of them, consider requesting a trial run. Your manager might be overwhelmed by the thought of doing this every day, but once you’ve had your furry friends in the office for a one-time visit, managers might not be able to resist inviting them to be a regular part of the team.

Image credit of kitten: Sarah and Jason via Flickr

Do you have any pet coworkers? If so, how do you enjoy working with them?

Brie Weiler Reynolds is the Director of Online Content at FlexJobs , the award-winning site for telecommuting and flexible job listings, and the proud co-worker of Dizzle, a boxer-beagle mix. Brie provides career and job search advice through the FlexJobs Blog and social media. Learn more at www.FlexJobs.com.

Read more: Career, Life, Pets

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6:35AM PDT on Jun 4, 2014

thanks for sharing :)

3:10AM PST on Dec 8, 2013

I took a kitten to work for awhile. It was born premature, and needed extra care. I had to hide him. Employers do not generally allow for this. I got caught. lol

I was happily surprised when they allowed me to bring him to work, and others helped in his care.

Ponder/Meditate/Pray for Peace.

Mary Oliveau { hugs }

11:38AM PST on Dec 3, 2013

pets have a high vibration.

3:29AM PDT on Oct 22, 2013

While I was bottle-feeding my cat, when a new-born kitten, I had to take her to work (whether the boss liked it or not, .... luckily the boss was ok with it). Naturally, as a consequence, my desk became a popular pit-stop for my co-workers, checking in on her, particularly at feeding time. :-)

12:57AM PDT on Oct 20, 2013

Dogs are the best companions in the world..... Pets are great for any workplace...

8:53PM PDT on Oct 15, 2013

Interesting article. The animals are great companions.

7:10PM PDT on Oct 11, 2013

I loved having my dog at work with me every day, but it all depends on the workplace and the personality of the individual animal. We had our own business so our lab came to work every day and the employees, customers and the dog all loved it. The spaniel we had before that was very stressed and unhappy at work, so we let her stay home.

6:23PM PDT on Oct 10, 2013

I wish I could, but work in a health environment where people may be allergic to pet hair.

12:11PM PDT on Oct 9, 2013

I used to bring my dogs to visit the special needs kids I worked in group home with. The clients loved it, and the dogs were happy with all the love

11:52AM PDT on Oct 9, 2013

ty

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

That video was great! Ida is an AMAZING inspiration!

Sounds like it might be a very nice and useful idea.

Thank you Micha for the realty check! But I still think that coconuts are great!

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