- Will Tottle recently published a 12-part guide on how dogs help with mental health
- Dogs have been found to improve our health and wellbeing, both at home and in the workplace
- Companies are increasingly allowing employees to take their dogs to work
As if we needed more incentives to bring dogs into the workplace, a new 12-part guide gives us a dozen more reasons why four-legged coworkers really do make our working lives better.
Will Tottle, editor at Dog Owner, researched and wrote the piece entitled ‘How Dogs Can Help with Mental Health – Mind Boosting Benefits of Dog Ownership’ – and it makes fascinating reading.
There’s a rising trend for allowing dogs into the workplace, and given the extensive mental and physical benefits associated with having them around, it’s easy to see why.
Among the biggest benefits revealed by the guide, owning or being responsible for a dog has been found to:
- Lower blood pressure and improve heart health and general wellbeing, owing to more exercise and reduced stress
- Reduce allergies in children, when they are raised with dogs in the family – the early exposure can help to build up a form of immunity
- Have a positive effect on our moods, which can have an equally good effect on overall health
- Increase exercise – studies have found that 60% of those who walk their dogs regularly are meeting daily exercise quotas to maintain a fit and healthy lifestyle, which is especially important for those working in sedentary office environments
- Stave off loneliness, as dog walking usually means that you meet others
- Establish routines. Owning a dog adds certain duties and patterns to your day, which can help introduce more structure and responsibility into your lifestyle
Based on the research, dogs can positively impact specific mental health conditions including anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, stress, PTSD, and more.
In busy and stressful workplaces, it’s easy to see how the presence of dogs can help to diffuse tensions during the working day. It’s certainly a rising trend; around 8% of UK employees are allowed to take their dogs to work, and many employers are now going the extra mile to introduce dogs in the workplace. Case in point, there are over 6,000 dogs at Amazon’s Seattle headquarters – which according to ‘Woof Pack’ Manager Lara Hirschfield, helps to “make employees smile” and encourage social interaction across the entire campus.
6,000 dogs at work is quite a feat, and of course, it doesn’t work in every environment. There are limitations – and coworking operators should consider carefully any decision to welcome pets into the workplace, and establish a policy for those who wish to bring their furry friends to the office.
Read more on the mind-and-body-boosting benefits of dog ownership here. If you’re looking for workplace inspiration, check out this list of 50 dog-friendly coworking spaces.
And since we’re on the subject (and because it’s Friday), let’s take a moment to appreciate these ‘hardworking’ four-legged office mascots that we gathered from centers from around the world. If you have a furry friend you’d like us to include in this slideshow, please send it our way: [email protected]