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Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Dogs at Work: A Surprise Benefit!

When I say goodbye in the morning and see those sad black eyes looking up at me, I want to tell my dog to get in the car–she’s heading out with me. I’ve often wished I could take my dog to the workplace. She would be great. She rarely barks, is very obedient and would sit most of the day and watch me work. At noon and at breaks, the two of us would motivate each other to get up and take a quick walk. Seems like a win win. This is how it works when she is in my home office. Well, apparently my fantasy has merit!

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A new study by Dr. Barker (I am not kidding, that is his name) at Virginia Commonwealth University, published in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management  found that dog owners who brought their pet to work, lowered their stress. And that stress stayed low throughout the day. In contrast, those pet owners whose dogs stayed home, not only increased their stress during the day, but doubled it by day’s end. It turns out that man’s best friend is also a stress reducer!

Some of the dogs in the study were noisy (imagine the routine barker), not so clean, and at times, destructive. So the idea of the quiet pup who sits by your side lovingly gazing into your face is not always reality. But some employers might institute the take your doggy to work day when they learn that workers felt more productive. And the people who came in contact with the dogs at work were more satisfied on the job.

Try talking about increasing productivity, workplace satisfaction and stress reduction and see if your employer invites Fido to join your morning coffee!

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