Start drafting an email to HR, because it turns out office dogs not only reduce stress, but also boost productivity in the workplace.
According to Marie-Jose Enders, an expert in human and animal relationships at Open University, office pets reduce cortisol levels in staff, and help to improve connections between colleagues.
“Not only does your cortisol level drop when you stroke a dog; you also produce more of the hormone oxytocin, which makes you feel more relaxed and happy,” she added.
She continued to explain that dogs also help to put stressful situations into perspective, and improve motivation levels within a company.
“An animal at work makes people more motivated — they like their work more and they experience less stress,” Enders explained.
But the link between pets and happy workplaces has been studied more deeply, and the evidence goes far beyond the anecdotal.
In 2012, researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University conducted a study confirming that dogs in the workplace reduce stress, through collecting saliva samples from employees who did and didn’t have a dog in the office.
Using two groups, one with dogs, and one without, the stress levels continued to increase in the group without dogs.
In fact, stress levels were also significantly higher for the group who usually had dogs, on the days that the dog wasn’t around.
Among companies who incorporate dogs into the work space are Google, Ben & Jerry’s, Build-A-Bear and… Mamamia, too.
So the evidence is in, and HR will have no choice but to hire one very good boy to wander about the office.
It’s good for productivity, after all. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯