If you’ve ever had a stressful day on the job (and who hasn’t?) then maybe it’s time you brought a pet to work with you!
On Friday, March 30, researchers reported that bringing your dog to work actually reduces stress levels on the job.
The findings were published in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management and the research was conducted by a team of researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University. The 75 employees followed for the study work at a manufacturing company where people are allowed to bring pets to work.
The study compared those who brought their own pets with those who had dogs but left them at home and staff who didn’t have pets.
Over the period of a week, the researchers compared employee stress levels, job satisfaction and feelings about support from and dedication to the company.
Saliva samples were taken from the test subjects each day to test for stress hormones. In the morning, there were no differences between the three groups. But over the course of the day, stress levels declined for employees with their dogs present and increased for those who don’t have pets and those who didn’t bring their pets.
Randolph Barker, lead study author and professor of management at the VCU School of Business says dogs do make a difference in the workplace.
“The differences in perceived stress between days the dog was present and absent were significant. The employees as a whole had higher job satisfaction than industry norms” (BBC.co.uk, March 31, 2012).
Researchers also reported that employees without dogs wanted to take colleagues’ pets for walks. Looks like it’s time work went to the dogs!