The Real Effect Dog-Friendly Offices Have On Productivity

dog-friendly offices

Public Domain Pictures/Sheila Brown

Dog-friendly offices are all the rage right now when it comes to company perks. Google-Alphabet, Etsy, Salesforce and more have created dog-friendly workplaces, while other organizations are offering employee benefits like paw-ternity leave and company-sponsored pet insurance. And while bringing Fido to work might be fun, how does having dogs in the workplace really affect your productivity?

Dog-friendly offices help employees stress less.

Research has found that employees stress less when there are dogs in the office, and when you’re less stressed at work, you tend to be more productive.

Not that any of us need to stress more than we already do, but what if you’re the kind of person who thrives under pressure? Ultimately, it’s really about the right amount of stress. According to The Yerkes-Dodson Law, there is an optimal amount of stress that helps employees reach peak performance at work. However, when that stress increases too much, it causes performance to decrease. Dogs could help reduce this stress and keep it at optimal levels so that you can be as productive as possible.

Dogs can be distracting.

dogs at work

Unsplash/Devin Edwards

Dog-friendly offices are meant to be a perk, but there’s no doubt that they can often be distracting. There may be a furry friend near your desk, but you don’t need to pet him every 10 minutes. If you’re a dog lover, you’ll surely want to spend some time with that pup throughout the day, but make sure it’s not taking time away from your to-do list.

If you are taking time away from your desk to go pet that dog, use it as a chance to also connect with your coworkers. By building that bond, you may find that you’re more collaborative with your team, which can ultimately make you more productive. Those distractions dogs cause could be a blessing in disguise.

That pup could get you up from your desk more.

Beyond getting up from your desk to pet that pup and connect with coworkers, dog-friendly offices could increase your overall activity during the workday. Dogs could increase the number of times employees move about the office instead of letting them sit still for eight hours straight, which is an automatic boost to their health.

Too much desk-sitting could cause unwanted pain and pressure on an employee’s lower back. If that pain and pressure increases, employees may need to miss work to see a doctor, which could ultimately cost them and their employer time, money and productivity.

In a dog-friendly office, employees may also need to take the dog for a quick walk. Others may just find that they take a little more time during those bathroom breaks to say hi to the pup. All in all, it could lower the number of hours spent sitting at a desk, which is a great way to improve one’s health. And when employees are healthier, they’re also more productive.

Employees may end up working longer hours.

office dog

Unsplash/Jamie Street

When a pet parent isn’t in a rush to get home to their pup after work, there’s the chance they’ll spend a little more time at the office.

The positive? Employers may find their workers logging more hours each day, getting more work done and increasing their productivity. The negative? Employees may need to become more aware of the time they’re spending at the office because work-life balance is still a very important and real thing.

If you’re bringing your dog to work, be mindful of the time you spend away from your desk with your dog. You still need to accomplish all of your tasks before heading home, so if that means staying a little later, then so be it. It’s a trade-off to consider when you’re able to have your furry friend with you all day.

Companies are using dog-friendly offices to attract more and more job candidates. If that’s a perk that’s important to you, then keep your eyes peeled for job postings with this detail included. Remember that bringing Fido to work may be fun, but it may also alter your workday. If you work hard and stay focused, though, then that pup may not affect your productivity after at all.

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