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Can Taking Your Dog to Work Really Make Everyone Healthier?

gabrielsaldana, Flickr

We already know chronic stress can make you sick, especially when that stress comes from work. So, if you need something to bring to the office to help you cope, look no further than man’s best friend.

A new study looked at the effects dogs have on their owners at work and other factors like their co-workers’ stress levels, perceived support, commitment to their employer, and job satisfaction. The results showed that dogs seem to benefit everyone.

In a press release, researcher Randolph T. Barker, PhD, professor of management at Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Business, said, “The differences in perceived stress between days the dog was present and absent were significant. The employees as a whole had higher job satisfaction than industry norms.”

While it was already well-known that pets can lower blood pressure, this research was the first to examine how dogs in the workplace can affect employees’ stress and job satisfaction. So is there a takeaway for employers?

“Pet presence may serve as a low-cost wellness intervention readily available to many organizations and may enhance organizational satisfaction and perceptions of support,” Barker says. “Of course, it is important to have policies in place to ensure only friendly, clean, and well-behaved pets are present in the workplace.”


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