Most people don’t realize that owning a dog actually increases productivity in both an office environment as well as a home environment. One of my close buddy who’s also an entrepreneur recently got a puppy. I was amazed because he’s always so busy and barely have time to deal with his own personal hobbies. When I asked him, “Why?” He said, “It makes me more productive!” I never thought of it that way, but after thinking deeply I did realize that owning a dog can you make you more productive.
Let’s talk science!
Humans have a hormone named oxytocin. Oxytocin is normally produced by the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus and released by the posterior pituitary. Sounds complicated? Yeah, I know.
To simplify it. This hormone is also known as the love hormone.
Oxytocin is released when you do things such as petting your dog. Oxytocin expert Kerstin Uvnäs-Moberg designed a study that found even short sensory interaction from an owner petting his or her dog provided a significant rise in oxytocin levels.
When that happens, it facilitates trust and attachment, decreases depression and self-reported anxiety, and increases positive self-perception.
In order to become more productive as a person, we cannot be depressed or stressed. When humans are interacting with dogs such as playing with them or petting them, Oxytocin is released and that will increase your overall productivity levels. It also helps with preventing and lowering depression as well.
This is another reason why a lot of hospitals have “volunteer dogs” to help patients feel more relaxed.
What about dogs in the office?
Some people swear that having a dog in the office will increase your work productivity.
Researchers from the Virginia Commonwealth University conducted a study at a manufacturing company in North Carolina. The company’s employees were separated into three groups: dog owners who brought their dogs into the office, dog owners who did not bring their dogs into the office, and non-dog owners.
At the beginning of the day, researchers took saliva samples of the employees’ cortisol levels. Employees reported their stress levels at four different times throughout the day. As the day went on, there were noticeable differences between stress levels among employees.
The workers that had their dogs with them in the office were the least stressed out among the groups. They also reported higher levels of productivity, higher levels of job satisfaction, and a more positive perception of their employer.
This means that dog not only makes the office environment a happier place, but at the same time it can help with stressful environments such as a small business office where everything is on the hustle.
When employees are happy, productivity level soars up!
Distractions by dogs could be beneficial
What if one of your co-workers brings in a dog and you’re distracted? Yes, this can happen depending on how wild the dog is, but distraction is actually beneficial for you.
Those collaboration benefits were conducted in a study from Central Michigan University. In the first part of the research experiment, subjects were grouped together and asked to create a 15-second ad for a product. Some groups had a dog in the room, others did not.
Researchers found that the groups with a dog in the room rated their group members higher on trust and team cohesion measures than those with no dog. This means that dogs spark creativity and collaboration.
We all know that working together as a team is much more powerful than working alone. Peer support is an excellent way to increase productivity and work a lot quicker.
Taking your dog for a walk as a break
It’s proven that when you take breaks in between assignments, you increase your productivity levels. There is a famous productivity technique called the pomodoro timer. It’s well known and used by a lot of people who tend to work long hours.
The technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks. These intervals are named pomodoros, the plural in English of the Italian word Pomodoro (tomato), after the tomato-shaped kitchen timer that Cirillo used as a university student.
During those mini breaks, you can take your dog for a walk and come back with a fresh mind. A fresh mind and a new mindset is a great way to increase productivity.
Looking at your dog pictures increase productivity
A Japanese study had their research subjects look at pictures of baby animals and then perform a variety of tasks. The researchers’ goal was to uncover whether viewing things that are cute would have any positive effect on the human’s stress level and behavior.
What they discovered was that looking at pictures of cute animals helped their subject’s performance, particularly in perceptual tasks that required focus, and made them more attentive.
That means that you should bring more of your puppies pictures to work and look at them in between breaks. It’s easy now that we have smart phones!
People with pets are generally happier, more trusting, and less lonely than those who don’t have pets. They also visit the doctor less often for minor problems.
One reason for that may be that your pet gives you a sense of belonging and meaning. It also gives you a sense of safety and that you have someone with you at all times. I have friends that ended up traveling for work and left their pets behind. They felt depressed during their travels, but felt a lot better when they returned home with their pets.
Pets are social magnets
You have no idea how many people I’ve met walking my dog in the park. Most of the time we end up in random conversations, but from time to time, we talk about work. I’m an entrepreneur and when I meet other entrepreneurs, I feel motivated to work towards my projects. This increases my productivity and makes me feel much better overall as an individual.
Dogs help prevent burnouts
One of the biggest reasons behind people going through work burnouts is because they tend be stuck with the same work emotion and the environment. Having a dog around will change that. It can bring joy to your work office whether that is a home office or an actual work office. When you’re stressed or stuck on a problem, you can always look at your dog and smile away!
Having a dog can help you boost productivity and if you don’t already own a dog, then you should consider owning one and you might notice a spike in your productivity!
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