22 June marks the official ‘bring your dog to work day’. Nicki got thinking about whether her cockapoo, Cassie would be an ideal office pet to have around…
Here at Rambutan, we often joke about having an office pet and up to now, we’ve had a cuddly toy as a substitute.The benefits of owning a pet have been well documented. With dogs specifically, there are the obvious physical plusses when you think how much walking they need and just being out in the fresh air brings huge benefits. The increase in exercise levels means better heart health and a more active social life. I walk the same routes regularly and often end up bumping in to the same people walking their dogs. Then there’s the more recently recognised advantages of dog ownership: you’re more resistant to allergies and some dogs can detect cancer (due to their heightened sense of smell). There’s the simple benefit of providing companionship to people, especially important when you consider how loneliness is an increasing problem in society today. If you live alone, having a dog has the same emotional benefit as that of a human friendship.
For me personally, my dog calms me down, makes me sit, contemplate and recharge my batteries for a few minutes before getting in to my next task. When I stroke or fuss her, it makes me feel automatically calmer as I can physically feel the positive effects of releasing oxytocin, a feeling apparently also associated with breastfeeding! The longer I spend with her, the longer the effects last. I can approach my next task with a renewed energy and sense of calm and contentment.
But what about the benefits of bringing a dog to work? These are becoming so increasingly obvious that more companies are catching on. Studies show that people who interact with a pet while working have lower stress levels throughout the day. Dogs in the office also lead to people taking more breaks, to play with or walk the dog, which makes them more energized when they return to work. This, in turn, has been shown to lead to much greater job satisfaction and productivity.
Obviously, it’s not always practical to bring a dog to work as they don’t always lend themselves to a busy (and professional) office environment. Additionally, we can’t assume that everyone is a pet lover!
My conclusion would be that although it may not be possible to bring your dog to work, could you spend time with a pet on a regular basis to bring about the benefits discussed earlier? Being less stressed at home and at work has to be a good thing in my book!