Pet lovers are rejoicing across the country as more and more employers are allowing employees to bring their pets to work. And employers aren’t thoughtlessly opening up doggy daycares, but seeing real benefits as a result of allowing employees to bring their furry friends into the office.
Research shows that dogs can reduce cortisol levels (our body's main stress hormone) and increase attachment responses that trigger oxytocin – another hormone in humans that is found to increase our trust levels. When we translate these findings into the workplace, results are also positive. Researcher Randolph Barker found through his intensive studies using dogs, that average stress level scores fell about 11% among workers who brought their dogs to work. According to a study by Virginia Commonwealth University, employees who were allowed to bring their dogs to work produced lower levels of stress-causing hormones and those same employees reported having more job satisfaction and commitment to their work.
Pet Perks - Straight from Employee Comments
Here at Best Companies Group and Best Employee Surveys, we're known for our Employee Engagement and Satisfaction Survey. We notice, more and more often, that respondents mention the positive impacts of being allowed to bring pets to work. In many cases, just having a dog or two around the office can make an employee’s day more enjoyable, increasing their satisfaction in the workplace. See for yourself, when you read the below employee comments. These were collected during administration of our various Best Places to Work programs. Read on to learn how the office dog is often one of the best employee perks.
These comments come directly from our Employee Engagement and Satisfaction Survey. As always, we have not altered or edited the responses in any way.
"What does this organization do that makes it a place where people would want to work?"
“The environment – fun conference room, constantly stocked kitchen with food and drink, ping pong table, central air, and a puppy!”
“The culture is a constant flow of creativity and collaboration. The management takes care of employees and will hold open bars, order lunch and take everyone to events. Oh, and the dogs are awesome.”
“Really smart and cool people. Dogs in the office. Well stocked kitchen. Real value for work life balance.”
“We have an unlimited time off policy, we allow dogs in our office, everyone’s work clearly affects the bottom line of the business and has real value, we have an extremely smart team (chess experts, many employees ivy league grads), and there’s a lot of room for innovation.”
“The company culture is awesome here. People bring their dogs, bike to work, run together at lunch, hike in the mountains, have a kegerrator, and participate in company teams in things like softball, soccer, etc.”
“We have a dog friendly workspace with 2-6 dogs that come in a day and then my favorite is the always stocked beer fridge.”
“Good group of people to work with. Having dogs in the office is good.”
Interested in making your office pet-friendly? Check out Pets At Work by Purina. Their website features tips, information on how to get started, and what bringing a pet to work can do for employee engagement and how it can make a positive impact on company culture.
Before taking the leap and opening your doors to pets (dogs or otherwise), consider the following questions:
- Will you require proof of vaccination?
- Should you discriminate on a basis of breed?
- Will you require damage and injury liability waivers?
- How will you manage and address complaints?
- What behavioral qualifications will you enforce?
Does your company already allow dogs or other pets at work? If so, leave us a comment in the box below and share your thoughts on pets in the workplace! Or, pop over to the Employee Engagement Community on Facebook to connect with professionals who are sharing new ways to increase employee engagement daily.