Researchers studied 75 people at a manufacturing company where each day for a week 20 to 30 people were allowed to bring their dogs to work.
Bringing a dog to work could come with practical difficulties, but a trial at an American company suggested it improved people’s job satisfaction.
Dog owners also reported that it reduced their feelings of stress, which previous studies suggest can lead to higher rates of absence and lower productivity.
Researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University studied 75 people at a manufacturing company where each day for a trial week 20 to 30 people were allowed to bring their dogs to work.
Using samples of saliva taken throughout the day they compared levels of stress hormones among people who brought in their pets, people who owned dogs but left them at home, and staff who did not have pets.
First thing in the morning there was no difference between the groups, but during the day stress levels declined among people who had their dogs by their side and increased among the other two groups.
Having dogs in the workplace appeared to improve morale among all members of staff, regardless of whether their pets were present, the researchers reported in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management.
Randolph Barker, who led the study, said: “The differences in perceived stress between days the dog was present and absent were significant. The employees as a whole had higher job satisfaction than industry norms.”