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Stress-Reducing Benefits of a Workplace Dog

  • Date: Apr 26, 2023
  • Author: Chloe Meredith

It's no secret that stress at work is unfortunately something many of us can relate to. From tight deadlines to overwhelming workloads - it can come in many forms and be caused by a variety of things. 

So, what does it actually mean to feel stressed?

Stress is a feeling of tension, pain, and unease in response to a specific stimulus, usually for a prolonged period of time. According to Champion Health, in the UK the most common cause of stress is work-related stress with 79% saying they frequently felt it. Stress can have a detrimental impact on the mental health and productivity of employees, resulting in increased absenteeism, reduced engagement, and decreased work quality. But it doesn’t have to be that way. To counter these effects, many health promotion strategies as well as engagement progammes have been developed, one being - fostering a pet-friendly workplace.

Here at Vetro, we believe in taking proactive steps to reduce stress and creating a positive working environment for all employees to thrive - which is why we would love to introduce you to our furry friend, Opie! He has helped build office morale and create a sense of community and camaraderie. Plus, it’s just plain fun to have a furry friend around! In this blog, we’ll explore the reasons why, and the benefits of having a dog in the workplace, and provide examples of some successful pet-friendly policies implemented by other companies.

Reasons why having a dog at work can reduce stress

When interacting with animals such as dogs, there are a few physiological effects that can help reduce stress, which a study conducted by the University of York and the University of Lincoln involving over 6,000 participants found to be true. When a person pets a dog, the body releases hormones such as oxytocin and serotonin, both of which can reduce stress levels and promote feelings of happiness. 

Have you ever noticed that your furry friends can be a signal of common interest and an opening for a conversation - this could be interacting with other canine parents whilst walking your dog? It has the same effect in a workplace, helping to promote improved team dynamics and cohesion as people naturally interact with each other when talking to or playing with a dog. In addition, having a dog in the workplace provides an opportunity for employees to take a break from their work and have a few moments of social interaction, which can be beneficial in highly demanding environments.

Benefits of having a dog at work

When stress levels decrease, there are multiple benefits to having a dog in the workplace. Employees can experience a significant increase in their focus and productivity, as well as improved morale in the office. Research by Washington State University found interacting with dogs enhanced people’s executive function - their ability to think, plan, memorise, and concentrate. The presence of pets, dogs in particular, can significantly reduce the overall levels of stress in an office environment, which not only helps to create a calming atmosphere but also has beneficial effects on an individual’s mental health. Studies have also suggested that workers may be more likely to stay with an employer for a longer period of time if the workplace is more inviting, and having a dog will undeniably make that the case.

Other companies that have successfully implemented pet-friendly policies 

There are numerous companies that have implemented successful pet-friendly policies over the years. Amazon and Google have done so, allowing their employees to bring in dogs to the workplace, while Etsy has implemented a policy that allows any type of pet. These policies have been well received by staff, and have resulted in increased productivity and morale amongst their workers.

Conclusion

There is no doubt that having an office dog is beneficial for both employers and employees and this blog has outlined the positive impacts, such as, improved focus and productivity, improved morale, and most importantly reduced work-related stress. 

At Vetro, our pet-friendly policy has been in force since 2015 and Opie was one of the first recruits. He’s been a source of joy and comfort to us all and is always there to offer a waggy tail and a friendly face whenever we need it. He is an integral part of our office family and has adopted the job titles Receptionist and Security, being half Keeshond, he prides himself on the warm welcome he gives all visitors. Besides, the traditional stress-reducing benefits we all reap the rewards of, he also sets the tone of the office; comfortable, open, and trusting - thus meaning he is definitely a bridge of communication between visitors as well as, employees. But please beware he is an excellent gatekeeper and will give people a good “woofing” when the doorbell rings. 

Who wouldn’t love to have a furry friend in the office?

At Vetro our employees' mental well-being is a priority and is something that we are passionate about, creating a place where people can excel and have a great work-life balance. This year we adopted the 4-day working week which has been a great contribution to our team's productivity and mood. 

Would you like to work for a company that values YOU? - Take a look at our internal vacancies at: https://www.vetrorecruitment.co.uk/join-vetro

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