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Man’s best friend… and co-worker?

chimp in suitEverybody knows that it’s not only the job that you are doing that affects your happiness at work but the people around you. After all, you spend at least 40 hours of your week with them, so whether you like them is going to make a big difference.

I have been fortunate to work around very wonderful people I considered “easy to work with” in just about every job I have had. But there is one type of “co-worker” that I haven’t had the pleasure to work with yet — my dogs

I know that many people bring their dogs/pets to work with them on a daily basis and I would love to do the same. Pets have a lot of health benefits — mainly, decreasing stress. For example, I belong to Pets on Wheels (a therapy animal organization), which brings therapy animals to all sorts of different places, including law schools during exam time to decrease students’ stress levels.

I haven’t brought my dog to a law school yet (I think doing so would vastly increase my personal stress levels) but I do bring her to the local library for the “Paws to Read” that uses animals to help instill confidence in children about their reading abilities.

In theory, bringing your dog to work can have many benefits. In addition to lower stress levels, having my dogs at work would make it easier for me to stay at the office later. And I wouldn’t feel so guilty about leaving them home alone all day. On the other hand, I feel like animals in the office could also lead to increased stress. You have to worry about barking and taking them out.

Right now, my office companions include a few houseplants. Maybe I’ll upgrade to a betta fish and see how that goes before bringing my dogs in.

Do any of you have pets in the office? If so, do you find it helpful or does it add another stressor?