It's a benefit all animal-loving employees dream of having: Apet-friendly office.

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The idea of being able to bring your beloved cat or dog intowork can be a huge relief for pet owners who worry about leavingtheir furry friend at home.

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Pets in the workplace can benefit your employees in plenty ofways, which is why so many companies now allow workers to bring intheir animals. There's even a day dedicated to bringing your dog towork.

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Let's take a look at 5 ways that pets can improve youremployees' day at the office.

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Related: Nationwide honors the most unusual pet insuranceclaim of the year

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Employee with chinchilla (photo: Getty)

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1. They relieve stress

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Anyone who's ever stroked a dog or a cat when they've felt downknows just how good pets are at reliving our stress.

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It's been proven by studies too–research from the Virginia CommonwealthUniversity revealed that the employees with the lowest stresslevels are those who bring their dogs into work, whereas thehighest belonged to workers who leave them at home.

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All workers have their bad days, so having a Labrador who loveshaving his belly rubbed in the office can be handy.

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Workers and dog (photo: Getty)

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2. They boost employee relationships

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When you put lots of different people, from various backgrounds,into one office, you can be certain that they're not all going toget along.

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This can create problems within the workplace, especially ifsome employees refuse to work with each other. A cute pet, however,can melt away all that resentment and create some common groundamong workers.

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It also helps new employees form relationships quicker. Afterall, it can be hard for people outside of an existing friendshipgroup to work their way in.

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Everyone loves talking about their pets, though, so a dog or catcan really help break the ice.

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Related: Here are the 10 best and worst U.S. cities for petlovers

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Dog in car (photo: AP)

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3. They can reduce absenteeism

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Pet owners don't want to leave their animals at home, as theyknow they will be lonely, bored, and sad without their humancompanion.

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Thus, it can be all too tempting to call in sick so they canspend more time with them, especially when their pet is under theweather themselves. Even when they do come to work, they might tryand leave early so they can get home and take Fido for a walk.

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If they were able to bring their dog into work, they could walkthem throughout the day and stay later to ensure all their work iscomplete.

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It's possible their productivity would increase too, as havingtheir pet by their side is relaxing; their mind is no longerpreoccupied by thoughts of the dog ripping up the kitchen flooringagain.

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Woman photographing cat (photo: Getty)

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4. They can drive creativity

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Having a mind free of stress and worry is obviously going toboost creativity, but that's not what we're referring to. A studyfrom Stanford University showed that walking canincrease creative thinking by as much as 60 per cent when comparedwith sitting down.

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Yet according to CV-Library, 61% of employees taketheir lunch break at their desk.

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If employers want their workers to have productive afternoons,they need to motivate them to take the office dog for a walk atlunchtime instead. Workers who bring their own dogs in will need noencouragement!

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Dog in office (photo: AP)

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5. They create a welcoming atmosphere

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Having a pet or two in the office isn't just beneficial for anemployee's own wellbeing; it's great for winning over clientstoo.

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Any meeting is bound to get off to a good start when thecustomer is greeted by a gentle dog or a friendly cat. Animals havethe innate ability to put a smile on almost anyone's face.

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A pet-friendly office also shows your client just howapproachable and human your company is, as you're dedicated tokeeping your employees happy.

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It's no wonder that so many businesses are keen to make theiroffice dog a big part of their brand, by including them withintheir marketing efforts. Nobody that comes to visit your officewill forget you anytime soon, that's for sure!

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Dogs walking (photo: AP)

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Thinking of creating a pet-friendly workplace? Here aresome tips:

  • Make sure all employees new and old are aware of the benefits,as not everyone can work around cats or dogs.

  • Create quiet space where the animals can go when they need arest from human interaction.

  • If you let your employees' cats or dogs wander around freely,it's a good idea to let visitors know in advance in case they areallergic.

  • Draw up some rules for employees who bring their pets in; youneed to ensure they are well-trained and will get on well the otheranimals.

Cats and dogs make wonderful companions, even at the office!It's clear that having a furry friend around can be hugelybeneficial to a business–why not give it a try and see how ittransforms your workplace?

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Related: 10 dog breeds most often blacklisted by homeinsurance carriers

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