Dogs in the workplace provide more social support for employees, as well as more opportunities for coworkers to interact in a positive setting, according to a number of studies. Social support, or that feeling of being cared for, also serves as “a key factor in whether people with serious mental illness return to work or remain employed,” according to a May 2017 study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
Logistically, too, employees who own dogs are able to avoid missing work to go home in the middle of the day to feed their dog or quickly return home at the end of the day, said Jennifer Fearing, the co-author of “Dogs at Work: A Practical Guide to Creating Dog-Friendly Workplaces.” These furry pets also could provide an opportunity for collaboration across departments, she said.
“You discover, when walking across the office to pet a cute dog, cross-pollination between your work,” she said. “You really wouldn’t have had the idea to work together, but because you struck up a conversation about the dog, you discover an opportunity that produces some synergy that wouldn’t have otherwise existed.”