National Pets at Work Day
Californian based pet supplies company Petco have announced this week a National Pets at Work Day. Described as a day-long celebration to raise awareness of the mutual benefits of having pets at work. Charlie Piscitello, senior vice president and chief people officer at Petco said that “healthier pets make happier people – which makes the world a better place…and we believe that translates to the workplace, too… we celebrate the success stories of existing pet-friendly offices and hope to engage additional employers in a dialogue to highlight the growing body of scientific research that shows the positive effects of the human-animal bond, when and wherever you experience it.”
Research has indicated that bringing pets to the office can improve employee health. Suggesting that even simply viewing fish tanks can reduce heart rate and blood pressure and that, just petting an animal lowers blood pressure and cholesterol.
Research links interactions with animals to positive changes in self-reported anxiety and calmness. Interaction with a companion animal, specifically a dog, also positively affects endocrine responses, including changes in cortisol, epinephrine, norepinephrine and serotonin levels.
Improve Social Activity & Productivity
Pets can act as catalysts for human social interactions. In fact, a series of workplace experiments showed employees were more likely to trust each other and collaborate more effectively when dogs were present. Not having to worry about pets left at home allows employees to focus on and complete work responsibilities without having to rush home to feed or let the dog out. They may also be able to stay and enjoy office lunches, happy hours or other activities they may otherwise miss.
Pets can add to the sense of workplace community, act as a conversation starter and provide comic relief. And, a pet-friendly policy can boost team morale, reduce stress and serve as a differentiating employee perk.
Steven Feldman, executive director of the Human Animal Bond Research Initiative. has stated that: “There is solid scientific research to show that pets in the workplace benefit our health and well-being, and with National Pets @ Work day, Petco is helping to celebrate, raise awareness for, and hopefully, bring those benefits to many more people and pets.”
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