A recent study has discovered one groundbreaking method of lowering stress at work. It doesn't involve prescription medications or stronger coffee — and it's free! For many, it doesn't get in the way of business at all. The method? Pack Fido in the car along with your briefcase when you head to the office.
Some companies have begun embracing the 'bring your pet to work' philosophy, and it's working. According to a recent study out of Virginia Commonwealth University, employees who are allowed to bring their pets to work demonstrate drops in stress as the day goes on, as opposed to their petless coworkers, whose stress levels rise greatly during the course of a day.
Image by Al Abut via Flickr
Although fewer than 20 percent of businesses in the U.S. allow employees to bring pets to work, the benefits of being around your pet throughout the day are well-documented. According to Huffington Post, having pets around lends the workplace a more positive atmosphere and forces employees to take much-needed breaks. Plus, the very presence of a beloved pet can make stress levels plummet.
So what's the upshot? If you wanted to make a case to your supervisor about allowing pets at your workplace, you wouldn't have to look too hard to find a boatload of support. These three companies have already taken the plunge.
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Printing for Less
If you order business cards at Printing For Less, you'll be guaranteed that your promotional materials came from a pet-friendly atmosphere. Many of Printing For Less's employees bring their pets to work on a regular basis. Collies, golden retrievers, and even tiny dachshunds bring a happiness to the atmosphere that only fuzzy friends can.
Replacements China Shop
The world's largest china shop, located just outside Greensboro, NC, is... pet-friendly. Sound like an oxymoron? According to the company's PR manager, people break china all the time, but pets have never caused damage. Replacements welcomes both employee and customer pets and has seen dogs, cats, ducks, pot belly pigs and even opossums.
Some dogs don't just go to work with their owners, they actually work with them. According to the Mayo Clinic, pets can help people recover — or at least better cope — with pain from long-term treatments. Sometimes pet therapy is even used during children's dental treatments. What better way to deal with a filling or an extraction than to have a soft, furry friend on your lap?
Some companies allow employees to bring pets to work only on national 'Take Your Dog to Work' day; others have limited times and/or spaces where pets are welcome, in order to provide a pleasant working environment for those who aren't as enamored by pets.
If you're not one of the fortunate few who are able to bring your pets to work each day, it might be worth your while to talk to your supervisor about loosening up the regulations. If that doesn't work, just remember to make the most out of the time you do have with your pet. And next time you're stressed, remember that scratching Fluffy behind the ears is one of the very best types of therapy available.
Can you bring your pet to work? Let us know in the comments below what companies you know of that are pet-friendly... and if they have any openings!