June 23th 2023 heralds ‘bring your dog to work day,’ so ahead of that it is worth thinking about the benefits having a pet in the office can bring. It is widely known that pets can help reduce stress, where the health benefits of being around a domestic animal include:
- Lower blood pressure: In fact studies show that even just looking at an animal can reduce blood pressure. No contact is necessary!
- Improved capability to absorb stress: As an anecdote, a Jack Russell was recently recruited to help students absorb stress. he proved so popular he ended up being booked for eight hours a day, to the point where he went on strike. Interestingly it is shown that the brain patterns a dog have when in this environment show it is effectively working to destress the other person.
- Living in the moment: For example, if your dog needs a walk, it doesn’t matter what else is happening, it forces you to break out of a cycle of either worrying about the future or the past. Also known as mindfulness, having a dog around helps with this.
- Building bonds with strangers: It is a common sight when walking through a park populated by dogs, that the owners huddle around in all weather conditions, sharing the experience. Similarly, in an office environment, an animal acts to build a bridge between different members of staff.
- Laughter: One of the most effective methods to de-stress is through humor and there is no doubt that animals provide endless opportunities for that!
- Productivity: By reducing stress, people become more focused on the present and what they need to do to achieve immediate goals, so improving overall productivity.
Therefore, if you hadn’t considered it before, maybe discuss whether having a pet in the office should be allowed, if only for one day.
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