Can bringing your dog to work improve engagement levels?

This Friday (22nd June) is ‘Bring your dog to work day’ (yes, it really is a thing!) and we’ve seen an increasing number of companies talking about how they’ve signed up to the scheme – but could there be a link to engagement just by having your furry friend by your side? Well actually yes!

In 2012, a university in Virginia studied the difference in workplaces where dogs were and weren’t allowed.  There were multiple findings to support the benefits of having dogs in the workplace, particularly around improving health and wellbeing.

Firstly, employees who did not have their dogs around them, declared themselves more stressed than those who did.  They also noted, that stress levels rose considerably on the days where employees left their dogs at home, than if they had previously been allowed to bring them in.

In addition, it’s been found that dogs (and other pets) can also help to reduce blood pressure and encourage exercise at break times, which in turn can release positive endorphins, improving your mood.

Now we’re not suggestion you all start packing Fido into your briefcase each day, but it does seem as though the number of UK businesses with dog-friendly offices is rising.  In fact, in 2012, it was estimated that 8 per cent of UK offices had dog-friendly policies, whereas research by Purina PetCare has seen this increase to 27 per cent – and further 28 per cent would like to put a policy in place in the future.  With successful business frontrunners, such as Google and Ben & Jerries allowing animals in the workplace all year round, it’s clear that organisations that are fully embracing these initiatives aren’t barking mad after all (sorry)!

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