Some folks might think that with a lousy economy, companies not replacing workers when others leave, reduced benefit packages, etc., that their business and work environment has gone to the dogs.
Well, for some, it has. There’s a growing number of companies, even some in the North Country, who are allowing dogs to become part of the team at offices.
You’ll find them napping under desks, playing ball in the hallway and even sitting alongside executives during tense meetings.
Tech giant Google has long been known for its laid-back work environment that allowed dogs, but companies across the county and industries are now allowing four-legged pets in the office.
Studies have shown that dogs in the workplace can be good for business, resulting in higher productivity, increased employee collaboration and lower stress levels.
In these parts, dogs and sometimes cats have been part of the business climate in several locations, from a new-car dealership to a physical therapy office.
And it seems they’ve been part of the working teams in repair shops, gas stations and independent manufacturers for quite some time.
According to a study published in the International Journal of Workplace Management, the presence of dogs in the workplace significantly lowered the stress of the owners throughout the day.
One of the key benefits of dogs is their ability to break down the barriers that keep humans from connecting.
After all, how many times have you chatted with a stranger while petting his or her dog?
Just look of the successes locally with therapy dogs, goats, miniature donkeys, etc., who often venture into nursing homes, assisted living facilities and a hospital’s pediatric ward.
The patients love them, look forward to seeing them and generally seem happier when the pets are around.
When dogs are part of the workplace environment, many employees feel relaxed and happy.
In fact, many companies with reputations for being great places to work are dog-friendly.
Studies show that dogs in the office tend to create small, quick breaks from the job at hand, which in turn stimulate creative thinking and added health benefits.
Further, that same research has shown that long-term sitting is bad for your health and can even shorten lifespans.
There’s a downside, though.
Not everyone likes dogs. Maybe some people are allergic, afraid or simply uncomfortable in the presence of canines. Plus there’s the chore of creating a pet policy in the office.
We’re certainly not advocating dogs for every workplace. Just planting the seed.