The need to combat stress in the workplace has led a number of companies to adopt some rather unique programs.  A growing number of these have found that talented people working hard, long hours can quickly decompress by having their pets close at hand.  This article highlights a 2001 survey conducted by the American Pet Product Manufacturers Assn that found that having pets in the office created a more productive work environment among 73 percent of the participating companies.  The survey further showed that workplaces with dogs, cats, small animals, birds and/or fish showed a 27 percent reduction in employee absenteeism.  With 62 percent of U.S. employees owning dogs, this phenomenon appears to have great potential.

In 1999 over 300 companies participated in an international “Take Your Dog To Work Day” sponsored by IAMS Dog Food.  By 2003 that number grew to more than 5,000 companies.

The article refers to a number of studies showing the stress-reduction effects of pets and a number of company owners are quoted praising the results of allowing pets in the workplace.  The article ends with a discussion of useful rules that help to minimize potential problems.

Source: Alan R. Earls, The Boston Globe; Dec 12, 2004

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