Meet Lydi Bell, Zoey, Ginger, Ella and Quigley; XRG’s most valued employees. Their job? They are responsible for keeping our stress levels down, making sure we get enough exercise, promoting team morale and collaboration, and last but not least, bringing happiness to the workplace. Pretty important stuff, right? And all this is pretty affordable: all these gals (and one guy) want is a scratch behind the ears, a good belly rub once in a while, and of course a walk in the park.
Despite all these obvious perks of bringing your dog (or cat, or hamster) to the office, only 10 to 20% of workers are actually allowed to bring their scruffy mate to work, but the number is rising. Major companies like Nestlé, Autodesk, Google, Amazon and Ben & Jerry’s have dog-friendly policies, and for good reason. It has been known for years that having pets lowers stress levels and blood pressure, while keeping their owners more physically active. But they have a positive impact on the work environment as well; experiments carried out by the Central Michigan University demonstrated clear benefits of canine comrades. The presence of dogs improved mutual trust and team bonding in teams that were assigned the task of creating ads for a fictional product.
The same group of researchers took individuals and placed them in teams of four people. Some teams had dogs, while others didn’t. Each team member was falsely charged with a crime. In groups with dogs, members were 30% less likely to report each other, suggesting dogs promote cohesion and trust among team workers. A study by the Virginia Commonwealth University showed that owners who brought their dog to work had significantly lower stress levels than people who left their dogs at home. One reason is of course the presence of the dog itself, but another is not having to worry about leaving the dog alone risking them tearing up the leather sofa from boredom.
Of course, there are some downsides that will have to be considered. Employees can be allergic to animals. Dogs can be aggressive to each other or to visitors. The office lease may not allow animals on the premises. And some people don’t like dogs (I know, hard to believe!). So, pay attention to your dog’s character and size, be considerate to other employees and make sure everyone is on board. We at XRG are delighted with our furry crew!
Manager’s Best Friend
For a Productive Workplace Let Your Office Go to the Dogs (https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/237982)
Preliminary investigation of employee's dog presence on stress and organizational perceptions (https://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/abs/10.1108/17538351211215366)