Remember when power-napping at work was a trend? Or when gym balance balls suddenly cropped up in workplaces to help improve posture? And who can forget when Stephen R. Covey’s The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People hit the shelves in 1989 and that’s all everyone talked about? This year, an inconspicuous workplace trend has emerged, and it’s one you may take for granted: working from home with pets.
Dog adoptions and sales have skyrocketed this year. It began in March with a sudden surge in demand, and by mid-summer, many shelters, breeders, rescues and pet stores reported more demand than could be filled. As we continue to settle into our work-from-home lives, many of us are now reaping the benefits of spending more time with our furry companions.
Pet lovers have long intuitively felt the benefits and joys that dogs and cats bring – and there’s science behind these benefits. Scientists believe that the source of humans’ positive reaction to pets stems from oxytocin, a hormone that stimulates bonding, relaxation and trust – and eases stress.
Working from home with a pet can also reduce anxiety, loneliness and depression, which is especially important now, as more people suffer from mental health issues and businesses struggle to provide support.
Beyond mental benefits, studies also show that pet owners are more likely to stay physically active, and tend to have lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Here’s another surprising benefit. According to The Health and Mood Busting Benefits of Pets, studies have shown that pet owners over 65 make 30 percent fewer visits to their doctors than those without pets. What company wouldn’t be in favor of better health and fewer doctor visits for their employees?
The verdict is in: being at home with pets can make working from home more enjoyable and productive – and that’s the way it should be. Our pets wake us up in the morning, sit at our feet as we sip our morning coffee, and they settle into sun-soaked naps as we join Zoom calls. They give us more unconditional love than we could ever deserve – and are right there with wagging tails through good days and bad.
So, the next time your dog barks during a conference call, you’ll have to forgive his minor transgression and remember all that he does for your health and well-being. Spending all day with your pet may just be the most underrated benefit of working from home.
What do you enjoy most about working from home with your pet? Let us know below. – WAHVE Placement Specialist Connie George, CPCU, ARM, AU, AIM