With businesses and economies now busy planning their reopening and return to work policies, the effects the Covid-19 pandemic has had on employees and businesses over the last few months still cannot be ignored or be forgotten. With work from home and remote work collaboration becoming the norm for most companies who could ensure business continuity with the right tools, technologies and processes during this period of lockdowns, the fact that all of this did not essentially alleviate the stress that the global workforce felt with the rising uncertainty and job losses has to be acknowledged.
With brands like Uber, AirBnb, and several others announcing large scale job cuts during this Covid-19 pandemic, the uncertainty among workforce grew and the impact of the economic slowdown and threat of Covid-19 substantiated these emotions.
Numbers and studies suggested that US companies laid off more than 20 million workers in April, rapidly exceeding the previous record of 835k of 2008. More than 16 million jobs were lost at service sector companies, with hospitality and leisure being the worst hit.
As the workforce slowly gets ready to resume to a new return to work policy (although several tech and SaaS based companies have allowed employees to work from home for the rest of the year, with many considering a permanent shift of fewer or certain employees to a work from home model), it is time for HR, Operations and other administrative teams to put in place new standards that can ensure employee safety and health for those who will have to work-from-office in the near term.
While on the one hand remote work is still going to be a largely acceptable norm, on the other hand, work-from-office is going to now attract its fair share of stress while employees get accustomed to a new model that entails wearing masks, gloves, maintaining a physical distance while also ensuring productivity.
So maybe now is as good a time as any to hone in on the benefits of keeping an office dog?
Here’s why every company should consider it, as a post-Covid-19 standard!
A Dog Can Improve Productivity
At a time when many employees felt that their new work from home routine did in a way boost productivity levels and helped in other ways by reducing their commute time, several others with children at-home during the lockdowns imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic faced other challenges, which involved entertaining the kids and focusing on their full-time jobs at the same time. As return to work picks up pace, employees readjusting to their pre-Covid-19 setup with newly enforced work standards and models will need some time to adjust to the new normal that everyone is anticipating.
This adjustment period may affect initial back to work productivity levels.
The good thing is that having an office pet, especially dogs at work is not a new concept. And several studies have indicated that their presence does in fact boost employee productivity. With companies like Amazon and Google even offering these standards as employee benefits (bring your pet to work day is not an uncommon feat), having more companies adopt this while employees get used to the new normal might be a good idea.
Pets, Dogs at work Help reduce stress
At a time when several employees have already expressed concern and apprehension at what the new normal in offices would look like with many hesitating to make the shift back to a work-from-office model, having a dog around might actually help reduce stress. Several studies have shown that petting a dog or simple interactions with therapy animals, or dogs can decrease stress in humans.
When employee morale may be suffering from an all-time low while stress levels are at an all-time high due to uncertainty surrounding job security, a falling economy and the constant threat of Covid-19 round the corner, it’s time for HR and Operations to take that extra step to find creative ways to help employees beat that accumulating anxiety and tension!
Dogs Contribute toward Improving Both, Health and Immunity!
One of the basis of (trying) to stay protected from Covid-19 is by wearing masks and gloves and ensuring a safe social distance while resuming work from office conditions. However, another foundation to being protected is also by ensuring better and increased immunity levels during these trying times. The presence of a pet or dog at work can improve the overall health of a person by reducing risks related to cholesterol, triglycerides, and even blood pressure.
Besides this, having a dog lazing around near your work table would also demand a fair share of attention and regular physically activity (walking the dog, playing with the dog) which in turn is again another great way to contribute to better health, at least in those employees who have already have other health issues they are dealing with.
Helps Strike a Balance Between Tools, Tech and Traditional Morale Boosting Methods
With the array of HR technologies available to monitor employees and boost collaborative efforts, striking a balance between the traditional (a dog!) and the modern (tools, tools and more tools), is worth it. A dog or office pet of any kind can boost morale and also boost inter-personal relationships at the workplace, something that an array of tools and technologies can do up to a point.
The End Word- Any office pet could do!
While the presence of dogs have been proven to have its share of benefits, the point is that any office pet can probably give employees the same or similar effect. While businesses get accustomed to the new normal, now might be as good a time as any to consider bringing in an office pet! Which one would you opt for?