Bringing Dogs to Work May Lessen Employee Stress

April 25, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. morale (n.) 
[muh-ral– a mindset that is confident, cheerful, and enthusiastic
Example: Being praised for doing a good job increases morale.

2. perceived (adj.) [per-seev– thought of to be something
Example: The perceived glow of the planet makes it appear like a bright star.

3. significant (adj.) [sig-nif-i-kuhnt] – important enough to be noticed or to mean something
Example: The rising temperature each year is a significant evidence of climate change.

4. promote (v.) [pruh-moht] – to encourage the progress or development of something
Example: The organization promotes good working conditions for employees.

5. pet (v.) [pet] – to touch with one’s hand in a friendly or caring way
Example: The dog was petted by his owner as a reward for doing the trick.

Read the text below.

A US research found that having access to pet dogs at work boosts employee morale and lessens employee stress throughout the day.

The study, published in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management, was conducted by researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). They observed 75 staff from a manufacturing company that allows the bringing of pets to work.

A comparison was made between employees who brought pets to work, those who had dogs but left them at home, and those who did not own pets. Researchers took several saliva samples from the employees each day for one week to measure stress hormone levels.

Based on the observation, there was not much difference in stress levels between the groups in the morning. But as the work day went by, stress levels greatly decreased for those who brought pets, while stress levels increased for non-pet owners and dog owners who left their dogs at home.

Lead researcher Randolph Barker added that there were significant differences in employees’ perceived stress on days when their dogs were brought to work and on days without their dogs. He says having dogs in the workplace may help lead to better employee performance and higher job satisfaction.

Blue Cross, an organization that promotes bringing pets with good behavior to work, says that employees can take small breaks throughout the day and release some stress by petting dogs. As for the dogs, they become happier because they do not have to separate from their owners for long periods of time.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

     If you were a CEO, would you allow employees to bring pets to work? Why or why not? 
     In what other ways can stress at work be lessened?

Discussion B

     What are some of the reasons why people own pets?
     Do you think people who have pets are happier than those who do not have pets? Please explain your answer.


April 25, 2012