Work Like a Dog or At Least With Them
“What?! You guys bring your dogs to work? That is soooo cool!” We hear that all the time. It IS cool, but it’s also a tactic to a healthier culture.
The Humane Society reports from a recent study out of Central Michigan University that dogs in the workplace can lead to more trust between coworkers, which leads to more collaboration among team members. Moreover, dogs in the workplace increase morale and productivity, lower absenteeism rates and put smiles on faces of even the grumpiest visitors.
A survey by the American Pet Products Association Manufacturers found that 20% of US companies have adopted pet-friendly policies. Many of these are smaller companies, but dog culture is doable and beneficial at any size. Google, Amazon and Ben & Jerry’s have had a dog-friendly workplace for years and Clif Bar & Company attributes its spot on Outside magazine’s Best Places to Work of 2010 list to its dog-friendly culture.
Having dogs at work was always a cool thing, but I didn’t realize how much this cool thing actually improved lives until recently. My husband and I decided that, given the right temperament and care, we could raise a dog that not only could come to work, but could go to work visiting nursing homes and hospitals, giving friendship, courage and smiles to those who really need it. So we went on the hunt for “the dog that will make a difference.” Enter the Mousse. He’s got the look but only time will tell if he’s up for the job!
What I do know is that dogs can make lives happier + healthier given the opportunity. The Pet Partners, the largest organization devoted to promoting animal-assisted therapy, agrees, and they’ve compiled a list called Healthy Reasons to Have a Pet (42 kb download).
Here are a few points that grabbed my attention:
- Visits with a therapy dog, helps heart and lung functions by lowering pressures, diminishing release of harmful hormones and decreasing anxiety with hospitalized heart failure patients.
- Animal-assisted therapy can effectively reduce the loneliness of residents in long-term care facilities.
- People with borderline hypertension had lower blood pressure on days they took their dogs to work.
- Pet owners have lower blood pressure, triglyceride and cholesterol levels than non-owners.
- Having a pet may decrease heart attack mortality by 3%. This translates into 30,000 lives saved annually.
Shoot us some comments or pics of your stress-reducing pets, and if you have any work tips for Mousse send them to theMousse@rmagency.com, he’s ready. Now check out the rest of our gang …
FROM THE WORK WELL
The Work Well is a source of knowledge to help make your
work culture a little happier + healthier.