How would you like to bring your best friend to work with you?
Research shows that there are some major benefits to having pets at work. Time magazine posted an article titled “Why Bringing Your Dog to Work Can Be Great for (Almost) Everyone” where they stated, “Dogs in the workplace provide more social support for employees, as well as more opportunities for coworkers to interact in a positive setting.” Because of this, more companies are becoming pet-friendly, from startups such as OneCoWork to major corporations like Amazon and Google.
Here are the top 3 reasons why you need to bring your pet to work (and the research to back it up):
If you already own a pet, you obviously know that they make you feel better. They are always happy to see you, they are your cuddle buddy, your confidant, your best friend. Studies show that “playing with or petting an animal can increase levels of the stress-reducing hormone oxytocin and decrease the production of the stress hormone cortisol.”
Also, if you have a dog, they will definitely need to be let out during the day. This gives you the opportunity to walk and get fresh air during the day, two things that definitely help reduce stress! Walking, and exercising in general, releases endorphins -chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers (see more here about how exercise reduces stress). Furthermore, “research shows that exposing your lungs to fresh air, and the scents of flowers and plants, can help to relieve stress and anxiety. Oxygen is thought to affect the levels of serotonin released in the body, in turn, contributing to feelings of happiness and relaxation” (see more here about how fresh air reduces stress)
A study by Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine found that pets relieve stress in eight (yes, eight!) different ways:
They lower blood pressure
They increase cardiovascular health
They inspire us to exercise more frequently
They make us feel less lonely
They help us live in the moment
They fulfill our need for touch
They increase feelings of self-esteem
They make us laugh
Work will always get hard and stressful and it is important to have an outlet to relieve some of that stress because overall, someone who is less stressed will perform better over time.
When you leave your pet at home all day, it can be a little scary and may cause distractions at work. For example, maybe you have to leave at lunch every day to go feed them or you leave early every day because they have been stuck inside all day. Wouldn’t it be so much easier if you could just keep your mind focused on work because your pet is right next to you?
Additionally, if your pet is with you at work, you and your coworkers will likely take small breaks to pet, play with, or walk them. Taking small breaks at work can actually help you focus more and you will get more done. If you work for two hours straight, your mind will start to fatigue or wander and it will show in your work. On the other hand, if you take a small 10-minute break, you will come back feeling refreshed and ready to work, and maybe even have some new, creative ideas.
According to Psychology Today, “Taking breaks refreshes the mind, replenishes your mental resources and helps you become more creative.” Research suggests that people who took regular breaks had “aha moments” more often and their level of engagement (aka productivity) increased as well.
How many times have you been out in public and seen a dog and stopped to pet it? If you are anything like me, your answer is “all the time.” Pets are an easy way to make connections with people that you may not have talked to otherwise. They serve as a perfect icebreaker.
If there was a pet in your office, I am sure you would want to go play with it, even for a few minutes. You would have to chat with the owner and maybe that leads to a new friendship or business connection. You meet so many more people when pets are in the office.
My personal testament:
I know first-hand the difference that having a dog at work can make. I moved here at the beginning of January, only knowing one person in the entire city and I would be working 40 hours a week for the first time in my life. Needless to say, I was overwhelmed.
On my very first day, I was greeted by Luna, an adorable pitbull and boxer-mix. She has brought a smile to my face every day that I am here. When things get busy, it is nice to take a little break and pet a dog! I love seeing how much joy she brings everyone in the office.
Do you want to bring your pet to work with you? If yes, schedule a tour to check out OneCoWork.
Bre Gajewski is a Marketing Intern for OneCoWork and will be in Barcelona until April. She just graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Alabama in the United States with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. She majored in Public Relations with a minor in French and took particular interest in International Business and Entrepreneurship classes. Bre loves writing, traveling and helping people and teams achieve their goals.