Who could possibly have a bad day when staring into the eyes of a fuzzy, cuddly puppy? Find the appropriate time to bring your furry friend to work for a time and observe as the weight of the world melts away before your very eyes. If you or your fellow troop-members don’t have one, it’s easy enough to find a local pet therapy organization where you can schedule a visit from our four-legged friends. Check out PetPartners.org to connect with an organization near you!
Did you know that having a pet can reduce stress, lower blood pressure (even more effectively than medication), and even help you recover more quickly when you are sick? With a little bit of creativity, some of these benefits can be translated from the homefront into the workplace.
There are times when even the most lowkey, laidback jobs can get stressful. In fact, one report found that 80% of workers feel stress on the job, nearly half say they need help in learning how to manage stress, and 42% say their coworkers need such help. The physical and mental effects that stress can have on an employee are profound - sleep loss, irritability, backaches, headaches, loss of motivation, decreased levels of productivity, lack of engagement, and lowered morale. Spread that level of stress across the majority of your workforce and disaster is bound to strike.
One way to help combat stress? Bring on the puppies! That’s right, arrange to have a gaggle of playful, fluffy dogs come into the office for your employees to play with. Even just a 30 minute distraction playing with these canine companions will have a tremendous impact on your team. They will return to their work duties refreshed, re-energized, and ready to tackle their duties and tasks. This tip may take a little more time and effort than some of the others to pull off, but your team will appreciate the gesture and the benefits will far outweigh the cost.
This week, I challenge you to research finding a local organization that will bring some cute, fuzzy 4-legged friends to your office for playtime. You can also take it a step further and plan your own “Bring Your Pet To Work Day.” Don’t limit it to just dogs. Encourage your team to bring in their aquatic, amphibian, and/or rodent friends (in the appropriate cages or enclosures for safety purposes, of course!).
FUN FACT: “Take Your Dog To Work Day” was first celebrated in 1999 and was started by Pet Sitters International to celebrate the great companions dogs make and promote their adoptions.