top of page

5 Benefits Of Bringing Your Dog To Work – Promote Productivity With Four Paws

Lauren Anders Brown is an award-winning documentary storyteller who uses film, photography, audio, and her writing to focus on issues of global health and human rights. She has captured content in over forty countries, including conflict zones, in order to amplify the voices of others and especially women.

 
Executive Contributor Lauren Anders Brown

At my tech startup PadsPass our work is all about helping humans travel with their dogs, so naturally dogs are almost always included in our work environments. I can share from experience, our work benefits from having our four-legged colleagues with us. In recent years, the trend of bringing dogs to work has gained popularity, and for good reason. Studies show that dogs can significantly improve the workplace environment by reducing stress, fostering social interactions, and boosting overall morale. With Take Your Dog To Work day approaching, here’s a closer look at how having dogs in the workplace can benefit employees and organizations alike.

Dog a sitting on chair at the office

1. Reducing stress and anxiety

Dogs are known to be great stress relievers. The simple act of petting a dog can release oxytocin, a hormone that promotes feelings of love and bonding, while simultaneously lowering levels of the stress hormone cortisol. This can create a calmer, more relaxed atmosphere in the office. According to research highlighted by National Geographic, interactions with dogs can provide a unique level of comfort and ease that even human companions may not always offer.

 

2. Improving mental health

Having dogs at work can also have profound effects on employees' mental health. Studies have shown that dogs can help alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression. The presence of a friendly, wagging tail can brighten the mood and provide emotional support, helping employees feel more balanced and happier during their workday. This is particularly beneficial in high-stress environments, especially startups, where a little canine companionship can go a long way in maintaining mental well-being.

 

3. Enhancing social interactions

Dogs are natural icebreakers and can foster social interactions among employees. Pet parents that might not speak to each other find common ground discussing the latest chew toy disaster or what groomer they use. This can lead to a more cohesive and collaborative work environment.

 

4. Encouraging physical activity

Dogs need regular walks, which encourages their humans to take breaks and get some exercise. These short breaks can be incredibly beneficial, almost like a forced pomodoro effect offering employees a chance to step away from their desks, stretch their legs, and return to work with renewed focus and energy. Regular physical activity with a bit of fresh air and sunshine is linked to better mental and physical health, making these walk breaks a win-win for both employees and their canine companions.

 

5. Boosting morale and job satisfaction

The presence of dogs in a workplace can boost overall morale and job satisfaction. Employees often feel more valued and appreciated when their workplace is pet-friendly. This can lead to increased loyalty and reduced turnover rates. A happier workplace is also typically a more productive one, as satisfied employees are more engaged and motivated to perform well. I find I go into an office more often if I am able to take my dog with me.

 

National take your dog to work day

National Take Your Dog to Work Day, celebrated annually on the second to last Friday in June, is a day dedicated to recognizing the positive impact dogs can have in the workplace. This special day encourages employers to open their doors to employees' furry friends, allowing everyone to experience firsthand the benefits of a pet-friendly work environment. It also raises awareness about pet adoption and the importance of humane animal treatment. Celebrating this day can be a great way for companies to try out the idea of dogs at work and see the immediate positive effects on their workforce.

 

Creating a safe work environment for everyone

While the benefits of bringing dogs to work are numerous, it is essential to consider employees who may not be comfortable around dogs due to allergies, phobias, or personal preferences.

Here are some strategies to create a safe and inclusive work environment for everyone:

 

1. Designated dog-free zones

Establish specific areas within the office that are completely dog-free. This can include certain meeting rooms, workspaces, or common areas where employees can work without interacting with dogs.

 

2. Clear policies and guidelines

Develop and communicate a comprehensive pet policy that outlines the rules and expectations for bringing dogs to work. This should include information on where dogs are allowed, behavior expectations, and procedures for addressing issues.


3. Health and safety considerations

Ensure that the office environment is safe for both dogs and employees. This includes providing clean water and designated outdoor relief areas for dogs, as well as ensuring the workspace is free from potential hazards like loose wires or toxic plants.

 

4. Allergy accommodations

For employees with allergies, consider providing air purifiers and regularly cleaning shared spaces to minimize allergens. Employees with severe allergies may also be given the option to work in a designated dog-free zone or remotely.

 

5. Respect personal preferences

Encourage open communication and respect for personal preferences. Employees should feel comfortable voicing their concerns about working around dogs, and their preferences should be taken into account when planning office layouts and policies. A simple pre-dog day survey about any issues people have with all dogs, large dogs, or small dogs, can help everyone be on the same page when the day arrives. You’d be surprised how many people may be fine with one breed or size dog, but have very different approaches to a variation of what they’re comfortable with. I was once on a flight where the person in the seat next to me was informed he would be sitting next to a dog and so asked to be moved before I got to my seat. He forgot something in his seat and when he came back and saw my small 20lb service dog asleep on my lap he commented that had he seen the dog first he wouldn’t have moved his seat.

 

6. Trial periods and feedback

Implement a trial period for the pet-friendly policy to assess its impact and gather feedback from all employees. Adjust policies as needed based on this feedback to ensure a positive experience for everyone.

 

Conclusion

Bringing dogs to work offers numerous benefits that can enhance the workplace environment. From reducing stress and improving mental health to fostering social interactions and boosting morale, dogs can play a vital role in creating a more positive and productive office atmosphere. As more companies recognise these advantages, the trend of canine-friendly workplaces is likely to continue growing, making workdays a little brighter for everyone involved. Celebrating events like National Take Your Dog to Work Day can be an excellent starting point for organizations considering a more permanent pet-friendly policy. By also creating a safe and inclusive environment for those who cannot work around dogs, companies can ensure that all employees benefit from a harmonious and suppawtive workplace.

 

Lauren Anders Brown is the tech startup founder of PadsPass, a digital pet passport that helps people travel with their pets. It streamlines an animal’s unique health information with government and transportation requirements so pet parents can make the best decisions for their pets and travel. Sign up for the newsletter for more information as the product develops and investment oppawtunities.


 

Lauren Anders Brown, Humanitarian Documentary Filmmaker & Tech Startup Entrepreneur

Lauren Anders Brown is an award-winning documentary storyteller who uses film, photography, audio, and her writing to focus on issues of global health and human rights. She has captured content in over forty countries, including conflict zones, in order to amplify the voices of others and especially women. She produces work through her own production company colLABorate: ideas and images, works as a consultant for the United Nations, and is Creative Director of the e-learning startup Gamoteca. She is a true artivist: an artist who uses any and all of her available platforms to creatively advocate for human rights.

Lauren is an entrepreneur, founder of her tech startup PadsPass and digital pet passport helping people travel with their pets.

Comments


CURRENT ISSUE

  • linkedin-brainz
  • facebook-brainz
  • instagram-04

CHANNELS

bottom of page