Can pets be beneficial in the office?

Nothing puts a smile on our faces quicker than when one of the team trots in with their canine companion in tow. Except possibly free pizza. It's hard to beat free pizza. But once that last slice is gone, it's Pickles McPorkchop that keeps our smiles alive.

Dogs have long been used as companion pets for the visually and audio impaired and their incredible senses have resulted in dogs being used across many platforms. From drug busters and bomb detectors at the airport to companions for people suffering from disorders like diabetes, autism and schizophrenia.

How pets affect us

Aside from being able to sniff out cancer and decrease our chances of developing allergies, dogs have also known to reduce stress, depression and anxiety. It has been documented that pet owners have lower blood pressure and a reduced risk of experiencing a heart attack or stroke as opposed to those without pets.

A study performed by Randolph Barker and associates (2012) found that people who brought dogs with them to work had lower concentrations of Cortisol (the stress depicting hormone) and reported lower feelings of stress throughout the day. About 50% of the participants who brought their dogs with them reported increased productivity whereas about 80% of participants without pets noticed no change in working productivity.

Bringing everyone together

In addition to decreased stress and increased productivity, dogs acted to spark communication between colleagues. Employees who usually would not speak to each other were found more likely to interact if one or both parties had an accompanying pooch.

Another study by Gueguen and Cicotti (2008) suggests that the ownership of pets can increase our socio-positive perception of others. Subjects with pets were found to receive help more readily when performing tasks such as asking for change or when they dropped a handful of coins. The presence of a pet was also found to increase the chances of successfully obtaining a stranger's phone number. Picking up with pets really is a thing!

On the other side

Taking pets into the office is not every company's cup of tea. Before arranging with your employer to bring in Mr Mittens, it's best to check for anyone with allergies or pet phobias. While you may be working more efficiently and less stressfully, Margaret in accounts mightn't be so happy about sniffling through an entire box of Kleenex. It's important to evaluate your pet and whether they will be stressed or scared; the safety of your pet and colleagues should be your first and foremost consideration.

These are the reasons why we promote a pet friendly workplace

Pets are truly part of our team and we have entertained many dogs, some cats and even a couple of bunnies over the years! If your employer is on the fence about allowing pets in the office, now you'll have some studies to entice them with. Not only are you going to be happier, friendlier and less stressed but you'll likely be more productive with your kitty or pooch by your side! If they need a little more tempting maybe slide a slice of pizza their way before pulling out Mitten's Instagram.

Posted by Jessica Varley

Owner of a small Chihuahua army and lover of all things pets; when Jess isn't managing her pup Nacho's instagram you can find her writing about all the awesome new products on the Pet Circle website!

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