Scientists Say Having Pets in the Office Can Reduce Stress and Make You More Productive
Pets have been shown to make their owners significantly happier since they share their lives with them as faithful companions for several years. The only time they have to be apart is when the owner leaves home for work, which can be very hard for both the human and the animal. However, many companies have realized how critical pets are for their employee’s happiness. Over the last decade, they’ve started to open their office doors to pets, an idea that has brought along excellent results.
Bright Side will reveal to you how taking your furry friend to the office can benefit your health and productivity.
1. They reduce stress.
When talking about a stressful environment, very few places compare to an office. Fortunately, a study has shown that having a dog around significantly decreases the levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. Whether the animal is your pet or one adopted by the whole staff, the effect is the same.
In the study, employees who were close to their pets all day presented lower levels of cortisol at the end of the workday than those who had had no contact with any animals, even though some of these had a pet waiting for them back home. This is why researchers concluded that the positive effect was more powerful when the animal was close to the employee.
Watching a pet’s mischief, going for a walk with it, playing with the animal, or petting it is an excellent way to relax when tension rules in the workplace. The levels of oxytocin, the love hormone, grow, and this makes us happy and much more willing to fulfill our tasks.
2. Pets increase productivity.
Contrary to popular belief, these small distractions improve your mood, encouraging you to perform at optimal levels at work. Also, who can be better than your furry friend to remind you that it’s time to take a break?
The routines associated with pets (like walking the dog, changing the cat’s litter, pouring water in the hamster cage, etc.) can help reward you with a well-deserved break, which, according to scientific studies, will also increase your creativity and improve your overall health.
3. They enhance relationships inside and outside the team.
Have you ever noticed that when you own a dog, it’s easier to meet people on the street? This happens because pets are social linkers. An investigation tested this idea in the workplace and found that people are more willing to cooperate with one another when there’s a dog around.
The main discovery of the study is that people are usually in a better mood when a dog is present, making them more likely to socialize and trust others. This not only strengthens the ties within the team, but it also allows people to develop powerful relationships with customers, especially if they are dog lovers.
4. The amount of sick leave decreases.
If your boss had some doubts that having pets in the office was a good idea, this benefit is one of the most convenient for him and the company. Animals improve our mood and this considerably impacts our overall health. They push us to become more active, which helps lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels and can also help prevent us from sinking into depression.
The consequences of stress, especially in the cardiovascular system, are relieved by the presence of these companions. For example, just looking at a fishbowl for a few minutes can make you feel at peace and can even reduce your blood pressure.
5. Pets help save money.
Forget about pet sitters and walkers. With your pet nearby you will not only feel at home, but you’ll save that extra expense. Now you can invest that money in whatever you want (a new bed for Fido or a tower for Misifu to play on, perhaps?). Plus, with all the health benefits you’ll get by being close to your pet, you and your furry companion will save a lot on medication and ways to relax.
6. Your pet will also be happier.
The advantages of having a pet in the office aren’t limited to just humans: The puppy, kitten, or hamster that you used to leave alone at home all day will feel safer and happier by your side. By the way, you’ll also feel less guilty about going to work, since you won’t be “leaving” your friend for 8 hours or more.
Some dogs have troublesome behaviors when their owners leave them alone at home, due to separation anxiety. Taking yours with you to the office will give your pet the company it needs the most: That of its human. And if it’s a pet who was adopted by the whole team, they would be giving a home, food, and love to an animal that will always be grateful.
We’ve seen all the advantages of having pets in the office, but remember: Hygiene and good living standards must always be respected so that more and more companies around the world are encouraged to adopt this system.
Would you like to take your pet to the office? Would you add any benefits to this list? Leave your comment below!