What Do People Really Think About Dogs in the Workplace?
3/04/2016 4:41 PM
The Journal of Occupational Health Psychology and the study involved 193 employees from 31 companies that allowed pets in the workplace.
The most important function that pets in the workplace served was to reduce stress on the part of the employees. The second function that the pets fulfilled was to facilitate social interactions both among employees and between employees and customers. In addition there was a feeling that having pets present in the workplace ultimately served as a sort of a symbol, helping to identify the company as being warm, sociable, and welcoming. The largest effect was on the employees who were actually bringing their pets to work with them, although positive effects were also found on those employees who did not.
The most commonly cited benefits for the employees were that:
(1) the pets relieved stress;
(2) the pets made the environment more friendly;
(3) they provide a pleasant diversion from work; and
(4) they provide companionship. When asked about the drawbacks of having the pets the most common response was that there were none, much further down in frequency were mentions of nuisance issues, such as barking, cleanliness issues (for example dog fur or hair), and the occasional mention of distraction.
When asked about the beneficial effects on customers the consensus was that the pets were good for business and created a positive impression of the company. When asked about the drawbacks to customers, the most common response was that there were none, and much less frequently was the possibility of potential fear or dislike of the pet, or allergies.
Participants reported that pets make the work environment more comfortable, provide a pleasant diversion from work, and provide companionship. Participants also reported benefits to customers stating that pets entertain and relax customers.