How can dogs support employee wellbeing?
Imagine your team with the widest smiles on their faces, chatter in the air, connections being made and shoulders visibly relaxing. These are just some of the benefits you can expect to see when you bring dogs into your workplace and it doesn’t stop there.
Dogs reduce stress
With 79% of British adults in employment reporting that they commonly experience work-related stress*, it’s essential that organisations consider ways to reduce employee stress levels; and dogs have been shown to do just that!
A 2019 study by Washington State University found that just 10 minutes of interaction with a dog produced a significant reduction in students’ cortisol levels; a major stress hormone. A similar finding was reported by Virginia Commonwealth University in 2012 where they measured stress levels among employees who brought their dogs into work (and their colleagues), and those who didn’t. And it wasn’t just lower levels of stress that were reported; employees also reported higher levels of job satisfaction and had a more positive perception of their employer!
Dogs aid mental wellbeing
Do you ever find yourself feeling uplifted and energised after seeing or stroking a dog? There’s a good reason for that. Engaging with a dog boosts mood enhancing hormones including serotonin, oxytocin and dopamine while simultaneously lowering blood pressure.
But it doesn’t stop with happy hormones. A study reported a 24% reduction in levels of anxiety when hospital patients were visited by a dog for just 12 minutes.
And it certainly pays to look after your employees mental health, with the MHFS reporting that employing a mental health care strategy has been proven to deliver a 30% reduction in sick days.
Dogs boost morale
It’s almost impossible to be in the presence of a dog and not smile or laugh. Dogs help to create a camaraderie in the workplace, foster a culture of positivity and trigger interactions which may not happen without them. All in all, leading to a happier and healthier workforce!
Dogs encourage collaboration and teamwork
Did you know that companies with collaborative workplace cultures are five times more likely to be high performing? And what better way to encourage collaboration than through the presence of dogs!
Studies show that the presence of a dog helps to spark spontaneous conversations and builds a sense of trust and rapport among employees. In fact Rover.com found that 45% of employees say they are more likely to approach a coworker if there’s a dog present. Dogs have also been shown to improve our perceptions of others!
Dogs spark creativity
When energy levels, collaboration and morale is high, our ability to think with clarity and creativity increases significantly. And with creative thinking comes new ideas, solutions and innovation.
Dogs help us to be present
Dogs are our greatest teachers when it comes to being in the present moment and one of the biggest psychological benefits of interacting with a dog is the opportunity it provides us to be more mindful. This in turn reduces stress further and aids mental and emotional wellbeing in the workplace.
Want to experience the benefits of dogs in your workplace without committing to a permanent policy?
Whether it’s a building agreement, allergy concerns or hygiene considerations, we understand that it’s not always possible to allow dogs to be a permanent feature in your office. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t experience the impact that dogs bring to employee wellbeing. Our wellbeing events allow you to experience all the benefits with none of the hassle.
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