From wellness centers to workplace massages, employers are constantly searching for new and effective ways to keep their employees calm, relaxed and healthy. When sick days cut in to the annual budget, and production is low due to stressed out workers, businesses can be greatly affected. In this highly competitive world in which we live, that does not bode well for companies striving to be the best.
According to a recent study in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management, having a dog in the workplace might be a key ingredient to reducing stress on the job. Researchers found that having a dog (or dogs) at work instilled higher employee satisfaction, kept people calm and less tense, and made a generally positive difference to workers. In addition, the researchers discovered that having a dog at work allowed for more social interaction between employees, therefore increasing communication and collaboration on projects.
Dogs are useful in so many ways. Therapy dogs, seeing eye dogs, guard dogs, cattle dogs, you name it, all have thankless jobs, yet they keep on working no matter the conditions or circumstances. Everyone knows a dog is man’s best friend. They will love you around the clock, be so happy when you come home, and they will never complain about eating the same thing for dinner every evening.
I could see how some people might be opposed to having a dog at work. Allergies, fear, or a general dislike of animals (gasp!) could actually add to workplace stress and tension. Listening to a yapping mutt all day long is not what I’d call relaxing. But, in the right environment, and with the right kinds of dogs, having a four-legged friend nearby could really turn into a successful trend in keeping employees happy and equipped with a high and positive morale.
My three dogs are the best personal fitness trainers, yoga teachers, and reminders of how to live well. They demand a long, hard walk (or run) from me every day. They make sure I get up early and seize the day. They remind me when to take stretching and nap breaks, and they keep me calm while I am working. In fact, two of them are lying on the bed next to me as I write this blog. Am I stressed? Not a chance. Do I think it is because of them? Absolutely!
April 2nd, 2012