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Employee stress reduced by taking dogs to work

Tuesday, 3rd April 2012

Stressed-out employees could benefit from packing up some pet toys and food and taking their dog to work with them.

According to a new study by Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), taking dogs to work helps to reduce employee stress levels and improve job satisfaction.

Principal investigator Randolph T Barker, professor of management in the VCU School of Business, said: "Dogs in the workplace can make a positive difference.

"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."

Researchers looked at stress levels of people who had their dogs in work compared to those who did not. They found that stress declined on days where dogs were allowed and increased when they were left at home.

Barker added that pet presence may prove a low-cost way of enhancing employee satisfaction and perception of support. He noted, though, that there must be policies so that only clean, friendly and well-behaved animals are allowed in the workplace.