Do You Take Your Dog To Work?
Did you know that June 22nd was Take Your Dog to Work Day? For some, it's pretty unheard of. But for others, taking your dog to work is commonplace - employers actually encourage it, including Google, Facebook, Zynga, Amazon and even Ben & Jerry's.
Celebrity Dog Whisperer Cesar Milan recently visited Facebook's campus and noted that, "keeping dogs with their owners while they work is a good thing for dogs and humans as long as both understand rules, boundaries and limitations."
A recent Humane Society study also suggests that dogs in the workplace have numerous benefits around the office, including better trust and effective collaboration among employees.
The study conducted an experiment with groups of four co-workers. Each employee was surveyed to see whether or not they would report their group members if one was charged with a pretend crime, and the groups that had dogs with them were 30 per cent less likely to report one another.
The study also found that teams of co-workers with dogs were able to co-operate better on projects.
The Humane Society offers a guide for businesses on how to create a dog-friendly workplace titled Dogs at Work: A Practical Guide to Creating Dog-Friendly Workplaces. The book deals with typical concerns about dogs in the workplace. implementing dog-friendly policies and setting fair procedures.
Another study in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management titled Preliminary Investigation of Employee's Dog Presence on Stress and Organizational Perceptions (that's some serious business, folks) found that perceived stress among employees with their dogs present declined over the course of a day while stress increased for employees with no dogs, leaving them significantly more stressed at the end of a typical work day than the group with dogs. When the group with dogs left their dogs at home, their stress by the end of the day was about the same as those who had never brought their dogs to work.
Not all workplaces can be dog-friendly, and some businesses simply can't have dogs around because that would result in health code violations and break certain laws. But businesses that can have a dog policy in place can reap the benefits: a more productive workforce, better camaraderie amongst employees and fewer employees having to leave the workplace to go home and check on their dogs.