5 Ways Pets Help Mental Health While Working from Home

woman using laptop hugs dog

Your co-worker at home helps you have a happier, healthier mind.

Millions of people around the world love their pets -- they're part of the family! We enjoy their companionship and going for walks, playing with them and even talking and singing to them.

Evidence suggests that attachment to pets is good for human health and even helps build a better community.

It's no secret that pets can contribute to your happiness. Studies show that dogs reduce stress, anxiety and depression; ease loneliness; encourage exercise and improve your overall health. For example, people with dogs tend to have lower blood pressure and are less likely to develop heart disease. Just playing with a dog has been shown to raise levels of the feel-good brain chemicals oxytocin and dopamine, creating positive feelings and bonding for both the person and their pet.

Co-workers at home

If you're working from home like more than 20% of the U.S. workforce, according to an April 2020 study by Statista®, the camaraderie that comes from seeing people you work with at the office is now coming from online conferencing software! But there are big benefits in working from home. Your non-human co-workers never challenge your thinking and are always there for you — often right by your side.

Up to 30% of the workforce could be working from home multiple days per week by the end of 2021 according to Global Workplace Analytics. This could mean a healthier, happier workforce, especially if there are pets at home.

People enjoy the flexibility of bringing a pet to work, as we found in our Healthy Bond for Life Survey in 2019. Over 50% of those surveyed said they would prefer if they could bring their pet to work.

5 ways pets help your mental health while working from home

  1. Pets can reduce work-related stress. Two out of three employees say work stresses them out and 40% say their job gets in the way of their health. Studies show that pets in the workplace help reduce stress and improve employee satisfaction.

  2. Pets can help increase productivity, wherever you work. When a dog joins a virtual meeting, group members rank their teammates higher on trust, team cohesion and camaraderie.

  3. Pets help manage anxiety. Now more than ever, many people are feeling anxious or struggling with mental health. Pets provide companionship and support.

  4. Pets can help you be more active. While social distancing is keeping many people at home, pets give us a reason to get outside, get some fresh air and get active.

  5. Pets provide a sense of togetherness. The bond with a pet helps people to not feel alone. When owners see, touch, hear or talk to their companion animals, it brings a sense of goodwill, joy, nurturing and happiness.