Zoey

Zoey, a two-year-old shepherd mix at Second Chance Humane Society, wants to go to work with you. (Courtesy photo)

Recognized for the first time in 1999, National Take Your Dog to Work Day (always celebrated the Friday following Father’s Day) is intended not only to celebrate people’s love for dogs and their importance in their lives but also to promote pet adoption. It is also simply a really cool thing to do. I explain why and how below.

As most people in the workforce know, stress is a major contributor to employee absenteeism, morale and burnout, and results in significant loss of productivity and resources. But through a study published in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management, it was found that dogs in the workplace may buffer the impact of stress during the workday and make the job more satisfying for those with whom dogs come into contact.

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) researchers compared employees who bring their dogs to work, employees who do not bring their dogs to work and employees without pets, and provided the first quantitative study of the effects of employees’ pet dogs in the workplace setting on employee stress, job satisfaction, support and commitment

The principal investigator of the study, Randolph T. Barker, Ph.D., professor of management in the VCU School of Business, concluded that dogs in the workplace can make a positive difference.

“The differences in perceived stress between days the dogs were present and absent were significant. The employees as a whole had higher job satisfaction than industry norms.”

Additionally, self-reported stress increased for non-pet owners and dog owners who did not bring their dogs to work.

According to Barker, the researchers also observed unique dog-related communication in the workplace that may contribute to employee performance and satisfaction. For example, although not part of the study, the employees without a dog were observed requesting to take a coworker’s dog out on a break. These were brief, positive exchanges as the dogs were taken and returned and also resulted in an effective employee break involving exercise.

Barker said that other findings revealed mostly positive comments from employees such as “pets in the workplace can be a great bonus for employee morale,” “having dogs here is great stress relief” and “dogs are positive; dogs increase coworker cooperation.”

Barker concluded that pet presence may serve as a low-cost, wellness intervention readily available to many businesses that enhances organizational satisfaction and perceptions of support. If you work in an environment you feel would be suited for dogs in the workplace, I would encourage you to bring this article to your manager (and, of course, it is important to have policies to ensure the dogs are friendly and well-behaved).

But more importantly, seeing how bonded people are with their pets and how easy it can be to integrate pets into daily life inspires many to adopt homeless dogs like me.

ABOUT ME

My name is Zoey, a two-year-old shepherd mix. I really enjoy playing with other dogs but can be timid around new people so bringing me to work may really help me to blossom. I am looking for an active and patient family or person who wants an amazing dog in their life. Call for an appointment to meet me!

Second Chance Humane Society’s Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shops have been servicing San Miguel, Ouray and Montrose counties for 27 years. Call 970-626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about our Emergency Response, Community Medical, Spay/Neuter, Volunteer or other services. View our shelter pets and services online at adoptmountainpets.org.