Are dogs in the workplace beneficial to productivity and reduced stress? There’s some compelling evidence to suggest this developing trend isn’t just a hyped fad by the tech-savvy innovators at Google and Amazon, who have both been clients of Axis41, A Merkle Company.
What We Know
Researchers note the effect dogs can have as agents for calm, and evidence suggests canines can succeed where humans might fall short. In a recent review of available literature, The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health reported that “the presence of a dog is associated with reduction in physiological indicators of stress (even more effectively than friends and family in some cases).”
The researchers cite the extraordinary ability of dogs to support and reserve judgment entirely (which perhaps plays a part in the phenomenon of reducing stress). And, empirical evidence shows the social support that dogs provide as the catalyst for the performance boosting effect.
Talk about an office win-win.
Loyalty for Loyalty
USA Today reports that 37% of people would give up some other form of benefits in order to bring their dogs to work. Fortunately, the 9% of forward-thinking companies don’t pressure workers to forego pay and time off in order to accommodate dogs at work.
Unconventional benefits like this can cause workers to remain loyal to a company that grants them the opportunity to bring in their dogs, and employers realize the value of such perks in attracting and retaining top talent.
The Social Support in Dog-Friendly Workplaces
Social engagement and collaboration between coworkers is a fairly obvious benefit to having office dogs. Jennifer Fearing, author of Dogs at Work: A Practical Guide to Creating Dog-Friendly Workplaces, is quoted in this Time article: “You discover, when walking across the office to pet a cute dog, cross-pollination between your work.” Of course, a coworker would make time to engage another in a mutual affection for a four-legged guest who promises the potential for unconditional devotion. As a result, a partnership between coworkers may develop, where absent the dog, the collaboration may be more haphazard.
The Bottom Line
Performance boosts and stress reduction benefit both employer and employee. And collaboration between employees is the best outcome for workplace culture development and new ideas. Here at Axis41, A Merkle Company, we have a few whiskered, wet-nosed mascots that provide a novel distraction, albeit in an already pleasant workspace. We call it a win, if for no other reason than the adorable furballs putting a smile on our faces. Contact us and learn about the career opportunities and other benefits of working here.