Dogs became “man’s best friend” at least 10,000 years ago when hunting was our ancestors’ main approach to gathering food.
Science shows that hunters would raise wolf pups and socialize them from a young age, both mankind and wolf becoming equally beneficial to the other. The hunter had the skills and the wolf had the speed. This created the dynamic hunting and gathering duo of prehistoric times.
Nowadays, it’s safe to say mankind and our wolf pups have become more domesticated. Our day jobs have significantly changed. The typical employee dedicates 40 hours each week to their job, and the dog is left at home.
It was only a few years ago that we begin seeing companies allow employees to bring their pets into work because of the numerous associated benefits. Some companies remain part of the resistance. However, others are changing with the times and advancing quickly in return.
Parachute Media became a dog-friendly office a few years ago! We’ve seen our team transform and develop into an unwavering pack with the help of a few furry friends.
Here are 5 beneficial (and scientifically-backed) reasons we allow dogs in our offices:
1. Improve happiness & reduce anxiety
We can all agree that having happy employees is one of the most important basics of business. By allowing our employees to bring their dogs to work, we have an equal understanding that we value their work-life balance.
Read an excerpt from The Guardian: “Scientists doing research into the effects of bringing dogs to work have made similar observations. In 2012, researchers for the Virginia Commonwealth University in the US studied the stress levels of employees of a manufacturing company who brought their dogs to work. They found these workers reported feeling significantly less stressed throughout the day than those who did not bring a dog to work.”
2. Increases productivity & attendance
“When we work, our prefrontal cortex makes every effort to help us execute our goals. But for a challenging task that requires our sustained attention, research shows briefly taking our minds off the goal can renew and strengthen motivation later on,” according to Nir Eyal’s research article, “5 research-backed ways to take better breaks that will improve your work.”
When dog’s are in our office, we get more work done. We take those very-necessary short breaks that help reboot our motivation. Whether those breaks are to greet a coworker’s pup or taking our own for a potty break, it makes our productivity increase.
We’ve also seen an increase in attendance, thanks to our dog-friendly workplace policy! Since allowing our employees to bring their dog to work, less employees are leaving early or spending their lunch break checking on their pup.
3. Social support & relationship strengthening
We have two questions:
- What do dog-people do when they see their friend’s dog? Pet it!
- What do dog-people do when they see a stranger’s dog? Ask to pet it!
We don’t need to credit any sources when we say dogs are a main source for conversation in this office! For most of us, our dogs are our first born and we treat them like we would our children – just like the 82% of millennials that feel that getting a pet is part of preparing to have a family, according to a 2014 Wakefield Research study “The Millennial Pet Owner.”
Most Monday morning conversations begin with asking how Sage or Rooster enjoyed their weekend, which is the perfect segue into learning more about our coworkers.
4. Recruitment & retention
Our employees love the option to bring their dog to work, and so do future employees!
Being a pet-friendly office has many perks for those that are already employees. When an interested applicant learns they can save on pet care costs and bring their pet to work, it automatically adds to the list of benefits to working at our company! Employees are more likely to stay where they are happy, and a study published in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management, found that when pets were present in the office, pet owners and non-pet owners experienced improved job satisfaction!
By 2020, millennials will make up for almost 50% of the workforce. Since 35 percent of pets are owned by millennials, small businesses and agencies need to be thinking one step ahead – AKA constructing their dog-friendly workplace policy!
Inspiration can be found in many unexpected places. Lucky for us, we can look over to our furry friends and gain some inspiration on how to conquer the workday!
- Don’t worry about the little things; All that matters is food, family and that you’ve done the best you can. – Kristin Burton
- If you want your coworkers’ cooperation, supply snacks. – Adam Fricke
- Dig for what you want. – Whitney Thomas
- Drink lots of water. – Rachel Ryan
- Approach challenges from a new angle. – Casey Dunphy
- And lastly, dress for the job you want! – Lauren Henley
While a few noises and messes are inevitable, the overall benefits of allowing your employees to bring along their furry friends are endless!
P.S. – We’re working with cats, too!