Is Fido A Office Stress Buster
picture by Dan Harrelson flickr
Many years ago when I worked in an office someone brought their dog in for a couple days. The dog would wander around the building and pop his nose around all sorts of office doors.
During that time I noticed how his presence made the office feel, well, human again. It broke any tension; it allowed you to spend a few minutes away from thinking about your work or staring at your computer. We all loved his little visits and everyone had a smile on their face when he was around. It was a perfect way to take those little breaks you need throughout the day to reduce tension and you always felt better after one of his little visits.
Unfortunately there was one miserable worker who demanded that the dog be removed from the office on the grounds of health and safety. Everyone was annoyed at him and unfortunately the management did as he asked. The office was back to being the boring, impersonal, stressful place it always was.
I wish at the time I had the research now available about the benefit of a dog in the workplace and its positive effects on stress.
The research says having a dog nearby releases human feel good hormones (endorphins) into the blood stream and that stroking a dog can help to reduce stress and lower blood pressure. Surely having a work force which is less stressed and feeling good is a good thing!
I think that every office should have their own pet dog as part of the health safety rules. It would be interesting to see if there was less sickness in those places due to stress and other related illnesses.