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NOTEBOOK – ONE GOOD READ: Feeling stressed about returning to the office? Maybe an office pet will do the trick


When you return to your workplace, what do you look forward to the most about being back in the office? Sharing coffee with co-workers? Commiserating about the challenges of children returning to school in the fall? Or how about scratching your office friend behind the ears? In this story from Business Insider, we learn that having an office pet can help reduce stress and increase productivity, and that more and more workplaces are accepting of having an office dog or cat in the workplace. A study by Virginia Commonwealth University a few years ago showed that people experience less stress when a dog is around. Apparently, people with a dog are perceived as being happier and more easygoing (as an owner of dogs I can argue against this on any given day). Researchers involved in the study said saliva samples from factory employees showed workers who had dogs in the area had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol by the end of the day. According to the article, it’s not just cats and dogs that can have this effect on employees. Other pets, like fish and hamsters, can also provide a more soothing work environment. But be warned, although fish and hamsters may be lower maintenance and require less attention, their effect on reducing stress are lower, too.

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