Imagine you were able to go to work each day and, instead of being greeted by the buzzing of fluorescent lighting above your head, it was the cheerful yelp of a puppy excited to see you. Animals in offices is a trend that is starting to pick up steam and with good reason. There’s something inherently uplifting about seeing a happy, furry, four-legged animal running around. One of the services Critical Incidents Employer Services provides is therapy dogs. In addition to bringing smiles to people’s faces, there are plenty of other benefits of therapy dogs in the workplace.
Studies have shown that when people are able to interact with dogs in the workplace, their levels of stress drop. There’s the increased interaction with other coworkers and the calming feeling that comes from petting a dog. It’s not just about putting a smile on people’s faces; petting dogs can actually reduce the production cortisol, which causes stress, while increasing the production of oxytocin, which reduces it.
Some people may view having dogs in the office as a distraction, but in reality, they can actually help to boost productivity. With that reduction in stress, a person returns to their desk feeling relaxed and even elated. It can enhance their ability to focus on their tasks at hand.
Who can look at the excited face of a dog, eager for affection, and not immediately smile? It’s nearly impossible. With individual worker moods elevated, it can help to encourage better interpersonal communication among colleagues … and it gives them something to talk about.
Some people work in extremely trying, emotionally draining jobs. This can take a serious toll on one’s mental health. So having a therapy dog on-site for them to interact can bring much-needed respite from a day that’s chockfull of difficult-to-handle situations.
Don’t believe us? Think about it. How many companies put effort into off-site team-building activities that, frankly, most people are less-than-enthusiastic about? If you really want to make your staff bond, regular puppy playdates are a virtually universal way to bring people together and forge better relationships, which then translate into better collaboration at the office.
The benefits of therapy dogs in the workplace are aplenty. They bring people together and put smiles on our faces. And really, what more could you ask for while at work?