Seeing the occasional tail-chase or window-watch may be the highlight of your work day, but having man’s best friend in the office is a lot more than just saving money on a dog-sitter.
Companies all across the country are enthusiastic about their pet-friendly initiatives, and for more reasons than crowd-pleasing. Studies done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that having a pet is not only awesome, but can decrease your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels, and loneliness while increasing opportunities to be active and socialization. Add these to your daily workload and using basic life-math, you get improved morale, reduced employee absenteeism and reduced stress-related ailments like heart disease and diabetes.
There you go, I’ve set the bar high. I’ve given all the devils advocates, allergy-havers and neigh-sayers a lot of an opportunity to chime in with the cons. I get it - people have allergies, small dogs are annoying, and nothing ruins a big pitch like Ruffles jumping all over the client.
Some of the Inventive dogs are even known to cause a bit of mayhem, and to this day I’m still not used to the surprise-slobber on my lap when my headphones are in, and I’m laser focused on my computer screen. HOWEVER, many companies are adopting such a trend due to the extreme internal benefits it has on employees.
Not to generalize man’s best friend, but dogs are incredible ice-breakers. In any given situation whether on a walk in the park, doing errands, or even at work; having a dog with you will boost your social skills to an unbelievable level. Probably your best wingman you’ll ever have, a dog can create catharsis and better communication amongst yourself and the people you encounter. Moreover, in the workplace, ice-breakers can bond a great line of communication with employees, making for a more innovative and efficient work environment.
Many Americans have conducted such social experiments without even knowing it - especially Millennials. According to The Washington Post, 75% of Americans in their 30s own a dog, and over half own a cat. Many millennials see having a pet as “practice” to having children in the future. With this trend of millennials crashing into the workforce, having a pet-friendly environment stands well with attracting future talent.
Sarah Starpoli, Etsy’s manager of culture and engagement, said in aninterview with CNBC, “Millennials make up a lot of our workforce. As the population has increased in our offices, the dogs have grown with us. People want it. People know about it when they come in and are hired.”
Mental breaks in the office are a big thing that dogs bring to the table, drawing a similarity to the main reason many people dread coming into work for the entire day. The convenience of being at home is something that pushes many into that dread right before going into work - but with your canine companion, the time passes in a much happier light.
Personally, I can hurdle the obstacle of distraction that stigmas the pet-in-the-office game. Knowing that no matter what kind of morning I’m having (and let’s be honest, how you’re feeling in the morning directly affects the entire rest of your workday), I can show up to some fellow dog-lovers and a slobbery fur-monster wanting his belly rubbed. Priceless.