Update: For a more successful experience, follow the Top Tips for Pets at Work.
There has been a lot of heated discussion on the web this past week, following Yahoo’s announcement that it will no longer be allowing employees to work from home. Other big companies, such as Best Buy, are following suite as well. While I have a definite opinion on the subject, that is not what I want to write about today.
The more relevant work environment issue for dog owners is whether or not companies allow employees to bring their pets to work.
According to a report in USA Today, there is a growing trend of allowing pets in the workplace. Employers are acknowledging the advantages and benefits of allowing employees to bring their pets to work – the anecdotal evidence is now backed up by research results.
Researchers conducting a study at the Virginia Commonwealth University, compared three groups of employees in the areas of stress, job satisfaction, organizational commitment and support. They compared employees who brought their dogs to work, employees who did not bring their dogs to work and employees who didn’t own pets.
According to principal investigator Randolph T. Barker, Ph.D.:
Dogs in the workplace can make a positive difference. 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.
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Employees who brought their dogs to work claimed that having their dog with them at work and available for petting was a very relaxing influence, but that it also had many other practical benefits such as ensuring the employee took a lunch break and short walk every day.
Dr. Barker summarized that:
Pet presence may serve as a low-cost, wellness intervention readily available to many organizations and may enhance organizational satisfaction and perceptions of support. Of course, it is important to have policies in place to ensure only friendly, clean and well-behaved pets are present in the workplace.
What do you think? Can you bring your dog to work? Would you like to?