Stress In The Workplace? Bring Your Dog To Work Day: 21st June 2019

Poppy’s Picnic research shows 72% of Brits think stress levels would improve with animals in the workplace.

Bring Your Dog to Work Day takes place this Friday, 21st June - and you'd be barking mad to not be excited. This nationwide event raises money for dogs in need and highlights how dogs can boost office morale and reduce stress in the workplace. We 100% agree, and Poppy’s Picnic is proud to be an official sponsor.

To mark the occasion, Poppy’s Picnic has released some new research which reveals 72% of Brits think stress levels would improve with animals in the workplace. Of the 1,500 Britons surveyed, 49% specifically stated that they thought there should be more pet dogs in offices. The findings show that animals could play a significant role in addressing the 15.4 million working days lost in the UK each year as a result of work-related stress, anxiety or depression (1).

The fortunate few that already have animals in the workplace (14%), testified that they do indeed help their stress levels. Over a third (35%) said they believed it would help them but bemoaned that their office doesn’t allow animals. Nearly a quarter (23%) of Brits agreed that animals in the office would help stress levels, but unfortunately don’t work in a suitable environment. With no less than 10 office dogs and a happy, productive workforce in our HQ – perhaps we are a case study in itself!

Our research found that Brits have over one working week every month of truly bad days where their mood doesn’t lift. Spending a quarter of the working month miserable can have a significant effect on mental wellbeing. When asked how their bad mood manifested itself, 47% said they didn’t talk to anyone, preferring to isolate themselves, and 28% said they were quicker to anger.

Low mood and negativity can have a direct impact on productivity. Over a quarter (27%) admits to not trying very hard at work, and 12% skipping it altogether when in a bad mood. As humans are leading extremely hectic lifestyles, it’s understandable that the somewhat permanent feeling of fight or flight follows us into the workplace but there may be help at paw - dogs!

Research suggests that the presence of dogs can have a therapeutic effect and can reduce conditions such as high blood pressure (2). Studies have also shown that dogs have the power not just to reduce stress, but improve task performance (3), social interaction (4), productivity (5), wellbeing (6) and even job satisfaction among employees(7). The power of wet noses and sloppy kisses!

As much as Bring Your Dog To Work Day is a paw print in the right direction, we’d love for it not to be a novelty to see dogs padding around an office. Poppy, Katie, Slipper, Gaby and all our hard-working office dogs raise smiles among our team every day and if we humans had tails, they’d be wagging too when there’s one around!

Show your support this Friday by posting photos of your Office Dogs on social media using the hashtags #BringYourDogToWorkDay and #BringYourDogtoWorkWonders

We do appreciate that not every workplace is suitable for dogs, but don’t worry, you can still make a difference by making an online donation.

What's the name of your workplace manager? Also known as The Office Dog..!


Find out more about Bring Your Dog to Work Day here.

Footnotes
  1. Health and Safety Executive, Work related stress, depression or anxiety statistics in Great Britain, 2018. Available at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/causdis/stress.pdf
  2. Allen K.M., Blascovich J., Mendes W.B. Cardiovascular reactivity and the presence of pets, friends, and spouses: The truth about cats and dogs. Psychosom. Med. 2002;64:727–739.
  3. Allen K.M., Shykoff B.E., Izzo J.L., Jr. Pet ownership, but not ACE Inhibitor Therapy, blunts home blood pressure responses to mental stress. Hypertension. 2001;38:815–820.
  4. Wells D.L. The facilitation of social interactions by domestic dogs. Anthrozoös. 2004;17:340–352. doi: 10.2752/089279304785643203.
  5. Foreman AM, Glenn MK, Meade BJ, Wirth O. Dogs in the Workplace: A Review of the Benefits and Potential Challenges. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2017;14(5):498. Published 2017 May 8. doi:10.3390/ijerph14050498
  6. Barker R.T., Knisely J.S., Barker S.B., Cobb R.K., Schubert C.M. Preliminary investigation of employee’s dog presence on stress and organizational perceptions. Int. J. Workplace Health Manag. 2012;5:15–30. doi: 10.1108/17538351211215366.
  7. Barker R.T., Knisely J.S., Barker S.B., Cobb R.K., Schubert C.M. Preliminary investigation of employee’s dog presence on stress and organizational perceptions. Int. J. Workplace Health Manag. 2012;5:15–30. doi: 10.1108/17538351211215366.

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