I used to have an extremely stressful job handling lots of money, receipts, paychecks and mind-numbing documents for a television show.Our office — filled surprisingly with very fun people — would often either be dead quiet in concentration or a chirping frenzy of buzzwords like “budget,” “purchase orders,” and “$3,000 leather jackets.”
Some days, I just had to get out.
But when I wasn’t delivering paychecks to actors on set or depositing stacks of cash (the likes of which I will never hold again), I’d escape to the art department.
Sure, it was because of the really fun people there, but there were also dogs.
And I am 100 percent certain that fact made everyone there less stressed than anyone else making this television show — despite being the most overworked department in the production office.
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It made sense. We worked 12 to 16 hours a day. If we weren’t allowed to bring our dogs to work, pet owners who took on the project would either have to hire dog walkers (unfathomable on our salaries) or put their companion up for adoption (simply unfathomable).
Which brings me to the subject of “open pet policies,” already in place at respected companies such as Etsy, Huffington Post, Amazon and Google.
It’s actually not such a new age thing meant just for millennials, but it is worthy of noting that 40 percent of millennials ages 18 to 29 are already dog owners.
While there are tons of personal benefits to having a dog — companionship, stress reduction, better health — numerous studies have also suggested that being able to bring your dog to work is even good for your job.
Having a dog near you while you work can give you peace of mind, from not having to worry about what they’re doing while you’re not home to just having that therapeutic Zen one gets from patting a dog on the head.
This reduction of stress makes employees more productive, and also gives them the ability to work longer hours.
Additionally, studies have shown that businesses that have instituted open pet policies have actually reduced employee absenteeism and encouraged employees to interact with one another due to the commonality of having a dog.
Lastly, dogs in the office encourage exercise breaks and positive humor, both of which can improve overall morale.
So if the thought intrigues you as a business owner, here are some things to know before you go ahead and tell your enthusiastic employees they can bring their dog to work.
It’s one of my goals in life to own a dog, and I’d like to adopt one sooner than later. I know that owning and caring for a dog would add a lot to my personal life, and it’d be wonderful if more businesses would consider the positive benefits of open pet policies. Usually, they’re win-win situations!
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