There's no denying that pets in the workplace, which we call "pets@work", is a growing trend in today's workforce. But, it hasn't caught on everywhere yet. When you're dropping subtle hints to your boss, for the dozen-th time, to let you bring in your well-behaved Fido into the office, Here are some fact-based reasons from Purina to support your request.
Simple. Pets reduce stress.
For almost 25 years, research has shown that pets lower blood pressure, decrease levels of cortisone in the brain, lessen anxiety, boost immunity and prevent asthma and allergies that can be developed later on in life. Pets are uncomplicated love — all the time. They don't judge us; they don't offer unsolicited advice and you won't hurt their feelings (unless you steal their Beggin'®). They simply allow us to relax and wave away the stress.
Pets trigger work interactions that may not normally take place.
Here's a perfect example. Ever been on the elevator at work (in silence) with another person along for the same ride? Imagine how having a pet by your side breaks the ice as you descend to the ground floor.
Pets have to go potty, forcing you to get up and get moving.
Even in bitter winter temperatures, your pup will look at you wagging its tail telling you it's time to go outside. Those extra few walks a day add up over time, giving your eyes a break from the computer screen and your body some much-needed exercise.
Pets influence the power of touch.
Petting a dog, whether it's yours or your cube-mate's, lowers the galvanic skin response, much like the science we know about a polygraph test, which measures feelings of fear, stress and anxiety. That simple ear rub or brush on the top of a dog's head can calm and disconnect you from the tensions we often subconsciously experience, like jaw-clenching or hyper-focusing.
Pets improve our productivity.
Sure, they may require some short walks during the day, which means more time away from your desk. But their sweetness, energy and love make us happier during the day. And being happier makes us more productive. We're not worrying about staying at work late with the dog left at home all day long. Research from Virginia Commonwealth University shows that when we're happier, we produce better work and overall better outcomes.