Dog-Friendly Offices

This is a move that I think most people would welcome in the office, dog friendly workspaces.

Researchers at the Virginia Commonwealth University Center for Human-Animal Interaction found that having dogs around the office produced a wide array of benefits for both pet owners and their pet-less co-workers.

The study, which was published in a 2012 edition of International Journal of Workplace Health Management, examined Replacements, a manufacturing services company in the US state of North Carolina where several dozen dogs are present on a typical day. The study found that employees who brought their dogs to work experienced significantly lower stress levels during the workday and that a sizable portion of pet-free co-workers viewed the dogs’ presence as having a positive impact on their productivity as well.

These results were consistent across a wide range of departments, from traditional white-collar fields such as sales and marketing to blue-collar sectors such as manufacturing.

The VCU study also supports the idea that dogs could help inspire buzz-wordy concepts such as collision and cooperation. “When there were dogs at the office, we found that people who normally wouldn’t talk to each other did and that all of a sudden there was a connection and a feeling that they were part of a team,” said Randolph Barker, a professor of management at the VCU School of Business and one of the study’s authors. “The dog becomes a social lubricant.”

Further studies support the notion that pets are natural stress relievers.

Read more in SMH

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