Dog-friendly offices improve productivity and reduce stress – Alba Benítez
More and more work spaces allow dogs to enter. Is it a fad or does having a dog-friendly office have any proven benefits? Everything seems to indicate that it is the second option 😉
Taking the dog to work is a dream of many people (dream come true if you work at CREC Coworking, by the way!). But there are still few companies that accept the entry of animals, and even fewer that allow their workers to take their dogs regularly to work.
However, little by little, the dog-friendly office option is gaining followers. And she has a very clear reason:
Pets in the workplace reduce anxiety and increase workers’ sense of well-being.
Picture by Alice Brazzit
Advantages of having a dog-friendly office
During some years, the Affinity Foundation Chair, has studied the benefits of people and animals living together. When it comes to identifying these benefits in the workplace, there seems to be no doubt: dogs in the office improve the environment and reduce stress levels.
Let’s look through what has been discovered so far:
1. Dogs at workplace reduce the stress level among the employees.
Some scientific studies have shown that the level of cortisol (the stress hormone) in employees of companies where dogs are permitted is lower, which means they are less anxious and stressed.
The good thing is that this stress reduction benefits not only the dog owner, but also the rest of the workers.
2. They enhance team building.
The best team builders now turn out to be four-legged. And dogs are wonderful social facilitators. Their presence generates conversation, increases cooperation with colleagues and promotes communication between people.
Picture by Silvia Morés
3. They enhance creativity and increase productivity.
To be creative, we need time and space to think. Dogs make this easier at workplace by forcing us to take short breaks during the day to take a walk, play with them and take care of their needs. These breaks are beneficial to:
- Reduce visual fatigue.
- Improve concentration
- Rest and relax
Because of this, it’s clear that creativity and productivity are improved.
4. They improve work-family balance and reduce the feeling of guiltiness.
Whoever has a dog and wants it, suffers when he leaves him alone at home all day long. In some cases, the solution is to hire a dog walker, but being able to take them to work make things simpler. In addition, reducing guiltiness also reduces anxiety and stress during working hours.
Picture by Silvia Morés
Not everyone likes dogs
A dog-friendly office can seem like a great idea when you have a dog and you feel good about taking it with you. However, not everyone may think the same.
And we should not forget that some people may not feel comfortable having a dog at the workplace. Sometimes because they are allergic, others because they are scared, and sometimes because they just don’t like animals.
To avoid conflicts, it is worth remembering what veterinary doctor Gabriella Tami tells us in an article:
“Dogs need to be in a space where no one is upset and they must be good-natured dogs: Those dogs that do not show aggressive behavior towards people, which know how to handle their needs on the street and which do not bark too much. They are ideal candidates for office, and dogs should be properly parasitized and free from contagious health problems”.
In the end, common sense must be the guide: f you have a dog that is suitable for your workplace, take the opportunity.. However, if your dog is going to be a source of trouble, consider whether the wisest option is to hire a walker and save conflicts.