Animals reduce employees level of stress

29 Mar 2012, 08:39
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Animals, pet dogs in particular, at the workplace can make employees happier, satisfied with the job, researches propose. reduce stress and make the job more satisfying for other employees, a study suggests.

A study, conducted in the United States and published in the International journal of Workplace Health Management  also showed that people with an access to dogs during the working day are less susceptible to stress, have higher morale.

The research by a team of specialists from Virginia Commonwealth University was based on 75 staff participants. It has been found that the presence of dogs is the important thing either staff brought their own pet or not.  

The study compared the weekly condition of workers, who were split into three categories: workers with their own pet dogs, employees with a random dog ant those without any pets on the workplace. The main indicators were, the level of stress, job satisfaction.

The samples of saliva were taken in a bid to measure the level of stress hormones during the day.

Obviously in the morning there was no difference among aforementioned groups. During a day, however, measurements showed an interesting trends: dog owners with pets present had a decline in stress level, while the rest showed a considerable increase in stress level.

It was proved that stress rose significantly during the day when owners left their dogs at home compared to days they brought them to work. The lead author of the study claimed that dog can make a difference during the work day.

And he reported positive comments from employees such as "pets in the workplace can be a great bonus for employee morale", "having dogs here is great stress relief" and "dogs are positive; dogs increase co-worker cooperation".

Past research has shown that stress can contribute to employee absenteeism and burnout. It can also result in significant loss of productivity.

Louise Lee, spokesperson at pet charity Blue Cross said they have always promoted the benefits of dogs in the workplace.


"We encourage our employees to bring in their well-behaved dogs where practical and we have seen similar results to the survey - a more enjoyable working environment, staff more likely to take regular breaks and a reduction in stress through stroking and petting dogs during the working day".

The dogs themselves are also much happier as they are not being left at home for long periods of time.


Source: BBC


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