Why You Should Bring Your Dog to Work
Do you have a dog in your store? One that comes to work with you every day?
Research compiled by Psychology Today suggests adding a well-behaved dog to a social situation can increase friendliness and the likelihood of cooperation among people. In each of the studies considered, the researchers looked at how the presence of a well-behaved dog impacted people’s perception of others, and their tendencies toward cooperation.
Having a dog present positively increased the perception of the person holding its leash—even when it was a scruffy guy asking for women’s phone numbers on the street. Adding a dog to the room also increased cooperation among a group of three to four college students.
The Psychology Today writer calls this the “trust effect.”
Online retailers have long worked to establish trust in their websites in order to drive up sales—when shoppers trust a retailer, they are more likely to shop there and more likely to buy higher-ticket items. Think of this a bit like the difference between walking into a dimly lit store that smells a little funny and has dirt in all the corners, and walking into a bright, well-lit boutique that smells like lemons. You’re more likely to buy at the latter, right?
So, what if having a dog in the store can have the same impact? What if it leads shoppers to trust the store (and its personnel) more? It can help open new conversations, while making customers more receptive to staff.
Admittedly, that’s stretching the bounds of the research a bit, but even if we look at the research more literally we see benefits. Even if all it does is encourage your team to be more cooperative with each other, isn’t that still a pretty significant benefit?
So, next time you find yourself debating whether to leash up your pup and bring him (or her!) to work—feel free to justify it as science.