Harry Truman said – “if you want a friend in Washington, get a dog”
If you are wondering how to improve morale, encourage collaboration and limit stress in your workplace — without spending too much money — maybe you should consider getting an office dog…
According to a preliminary investigation published in March…employees who bring their dog to the office can cap the amount of stress experienced during the day, and improve job satisfaction for all.
Randolph Barker, a dog-loving management professor, monitored the stress levels of employees at a retailing and manufacturing business with a 14-year history of allowing dogs in the workplace…[Randolph Barker!?]
The study found that while everyone started the day with low baseline levels of the stress hormone cortisol, those who didn’t bring their dogs to work reported drastically higher levels of stress by the end of the working day.
Those who had their dogs with them had low levels of stress throughout the day, and about half of that group felt that dogs were important to their productivity. Of the two groups without dogs, 80% felt that the dogs in the workplace had no negative effect on productivity…
Barker also noted that the dogs appeared to be “communication energizers,” sparking conversations amongst employees, and increasing engagement.
“We think dogs’ presence in the workplace may reduce stress for their owners, increase job satisfaction even for those without pets, and it may increase perceptions of organizational support,” says Barker. “It’s a low-cost wellness intervention, or benefit, that’s available readily to any organization.”
But Barker suggests that dogs may be preferable meeting participants than some colleagues. “They don’t judge us,” he says, “and when no one else will listen to you, your dog will listen to you.”
RTFA. Anecdotes both useful and humorous. Tech companies seem to lead the way in adoption of the policy – which is no surprise.
Working from home, an easy interlude going for a walk with Rally is an immediate break to any writer’s block that might be afflicting me. And she couldn’t care less what I talk about while we’re walking – as long as there’s a cookie waiting at the end of the walk.