Bringing pets to work is becoming an integral part of the corporate culture. Google now identifies as a “dog company” and includes the following phrase in its Code of Conduct: “Google’s affection for our canine friends is an integral facet of our corporate culture.”
In recent years more and more employers have started allowing employees to bring their pets to work. Following a year of abstention from the workplace, it is time to examine whether pets at work contribute to the improvement of mental health or whether they distract people.
Previous studies reported that pets can help people combat stress. Pet ownership is also linked to lower heart rate and lower blood pressure. Other studies concluded that dogs have a positive impact on work satisfaction and that employees who brought their dogs to work had much less anxiety than their colleagues without dogs.
Furthermore, pets can improve communication since they often ignite discussions between colleagues. On the other hand, they can also cause distraction and affect productivity.
Companies, like Google, which implements a bring your pet to work policy, are opening the way so that more and more companies will adopt this practice.
In the era of COVID-19, when pet ownership increased, maybe our furry friends’ presence at work can make our transition back to the office easier.