Raise your hand if you were a loyal pet owner or adopted a dog (or two) during the pandemic.
It was a very common theme to turn to pets for companionship and emotional support as our human interactions were limited during lockdown. In turn, our furry friends became a bit needier (as did we), because they grew accustomed to having us home all the time.
Now raise your hand if you worried about how returning to the office would affect your pets.
Luckily, Data41 has an “Open Doggy Door Policy!” We welcome our employees’ trained and socialized dogs into the office to fit our hybrid work model. Not only are we avoiding separation anxiety, but we’re reaping a long list of benefits from having our four-legged friends at work!
A study by LiveCareer found 76% of people reported that having pets in the workplace was a positive experience. People appreciated the increased socialization with coworkers (51%), a relaxed environment (33%) and reduction of stress (28%). They also reported greater work-life balance and the reduction of guilt that comes from leaving a pet at home.
Have you ever seen a stranger out in public walking their dog? Were they not instantly more approachable because of their canine buffer? The same principle applies to office dogs! They offer an immediate topic of conversation and act as great ice breakers. They also help encourage camaraderie and socialization. It’s nearly impossible not to stop by a coworker’s desk and give their puppy a belly rub on your way to the coffee machine.
You’ve probably heard of therapy dogs. They’re dogs trained to provide comfort and affection to those other than their owners/handlers. Our office dogs might not be trained therapy dogs, but boy can they boost morale! They give us a healthy break from screentime to refresh our eyes and our minds. And they allow us the opportunity to play – an action that often provokes laughter and smiles.
Studies have shown that pets can improve both mental and physical health. They reduce loneliness (which rang especially true during COVID), relieve anxiety, and lower blood pressure. With lower stress in the office, there’s more room for creativity, collaboration, and overall happiness!
While we understand that not every workplace is conducive to an Open Doggy Door Policy (i.e. hospitals, food services, etc.), we at Data41 are proud to offer the option to our employees. We win, our employees win, and our pets win! Office dogs have become a staple in our company culture.