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If your workplace could use a bit of a morale boost, why not consider bringing your dog in for the day? Research has found this could reduce stress levels and make work more satisfying for employees.

According to a study conducted by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University, pets make a positive difference in the workplace.

The study was conducted in a US manufacturing business, where people were allowed to bring their pets to work. Researchers compared this group with two others: those who had pets but couldn’t bring them into work and staff who didn’t have pets.

Using saliva samples, employee’s stress hormone levels were measured throughout the day. Initially, no difference was found between the three groups but later in the day, stress reduced for those with their dogs at work and increased for the other two groups.

Researchers also found stress levels rose sharply on the days dog owners left their pets at home, compared to those days in which they were at work with them.

Lead study author Randolph Barker said the results speak for themselves.

“The differences in perceived stress between days the dog was present and absent were significant. The employees as a whole had higher job satisfaction than industry norms.”

This study has been backed up a number of experts, including psychotherapist Terri Bodell, who says pets improve productivity by:

  • Encouraging employees to relax,
  • Reducing heart rate and lowering blood pressure,
  • Promoting a productive and positive frame of mind, and
  • Encouraging social interaction, leading to more effective collaboration.

I’m an animal lover, so these results come as little surprise to me. A few months back I brought my Labrador Newton into the office (I shared pictures of him with our Facebook community), and the mood that day was infectious. Not only was the Dynamic Business team all smiles, but staff from businesses around us couldn’t wipe the grins of their faces either.

So we’ve decided to throw our support behind WSPA – by donating $30 a month (tax deductible!) to the organisation – and I’d like to invite you all to do the same – just click here.

In the spirit of all this animal love, we’ll be creating a Facebook album to showcase the pets who make our workplace’s a happier place.

If you’d like to share an image of your furry co-worker, email it to lorna.brett at backend.dynamicbsuiness.com, and I’ll upload it for the world to see.

Please include the name of your pet, and tell us why he/she improves your working day.

What do you think?

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Lorna Brett

Lorna Brett

Lorna was Dynamic Business’ Social Web Editor in 2011/12. She’s a social media obsessed journalist, who has a passion for small business. Outside the 9 to 5, you’re likely to find her trawling the web for online bargains, perfecting her amateur photography skills or enjoying one too many cappucinos. You can follow her on <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/dynamicbusiness">Twitter @DynamicBusiness</a>

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