A new study supports the stress-reducing benefits of bringing your pooch to work — to play with, look at, and pet while working.
According to a Virginia Commonwealth University study, having a dog at work not only reduces the owners’ stress level but also increased the level of job satisfaction for other employees as well. The study, announced Thursday, was published in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management.
“Dogs in the workplace can make a positive difference,” said head researcher Randolph T. Barker. “The differences in perceived stress between days the dog was present and absent were significant. The employees as a whole had higher job satisfaction than industry norms.”
The study took place at Replacements Ltd, a service-manufacturing-retail company located in North Carolina, which employs approximately 550 people. The company has a dog friendly policy, similar to other companies such as Amazon, Ben & Jerry’s and Zynga, according to CBS News, with around 20 to 30 dogs romping through the office every day. The study took place over a period of one work week, and subjects completing both surveys and saliva samples to measure stress levels.
According to The Humane Society of the United States, there are numerous benefits to having dogs at work, including improved staff morale, worker productivity, and camaraderie among employees.
Numerous studies have shown that having a pet is a good investment for your health. One study found that having a pet lowered your risk factors for heart disease, and another found that dogs encourage more consistent walking and exercise.