It’s safe to say that our cuddly counterparts give us so much joy at home so why not extend it to our work life too?
If you’re attempting to convince the boss of the benefits of having a furry friend in the office, then you’ll be delighted to know that researchers at various universities have actually confirmed its benefits.
Needing even more reason? Here’s six reasons why you need an office pet.
1. It’s widely accepted nowadays
Of course, nowadays the idea of having an office pet isn’t as radical as you might think.
Large, modern companies, such as Google, all allow pets – while some job vacancies even advertise the fact as an employee benefit.
2. Employees experience less stress
Why? Well, according to research carried out by Virginia Commonwealth University it’s been shown that people actually experience less stress when a dog is around.
Researchers looked at how much of the stress hormone cortisol was in saliva samples from factory employees.
Results showed that only the employees who had had an office dog had low cortisol levels by the end of the day.
Other experts have also agreed with the stress-busting benefits of the office pet.
Speaking to Business Insider, Marie-José Enders, who studies the relationship between animals and humans at the Open University, confirmed the link.
“It’s definitely good for the work atmosphere to have a dog in the office,” she said.
“Not only does your cortisol level drop when you stroke a dog; you also produce more of the hormone oxytocin, which makes you feel more relaxed and happy.”
3. It helps put difficult work situations into perspective
The expert continued:
“If your boss is giving you a hard time, a dog can make it easier to put certain situations into perspective. You can just take a bit of space and walk the dog.”
“An animal at work makes people more motivated — they like their work more and they experience less stress.”
4. It’s a great reminder that you should take a break
Behavourial psychologist Lotte Spijkerman says it’s also good to consider adding a cat or dog to your office.
“They reduce stress and increase productivity, mainly because they interact with you of their own accord and, when they pop over to your work station, it’s a good reminder that you might need to take a break,” explained the psychologist.
5. Office pets can have a soothing effect on the work atmosphere
That’s not to say you shouldn’t also consider a low maintenance pet, such as a rabbit or goldfish.
“Watching fish can also be very relaxing”, says Spijkerman. “A fish tank has about the same effect on people as watching a hearth fire.
“That goes for birds or anything natural in the office, like plants. Even smells can have a soothing effect, with citrus smells being useful for calming.”
6. An office pet can help you get to know colleagues faster
There’s arranging a team day to help the bonding process or you could just bring in the office pet.
“They ‘re a great ice-breaker,” says Spijkerman.
“We know from psychology that if you find someone nicer, you move with him or her faster. And if someone looks like you, because he also has a dog, for example, it could be easier to make a deal.”