It’s no secret: At Urbane, we love pets. Whether you’re a resident of one of our apartments or co-working at the Urbane Space, pets are an important part of the Urbane experience.
And there’s even more good news: Pets, specifically dogs, can actually improve productivity.
Research out of our state’s own Central Michigan University sought to determine whether or not the presence of a canine in the office would help people collaborate more effectively.
The details of the university’s two experiments, led by Christopher Honts, were recently laid out in The Economist. The first experiment included 12 groups of four individuals who were charged with developing an advertisement for a fake product — and the groups had to decide on only one final ad.
Some of the groups had dogs in the environment while others did not. When asked afterward about how they felt about working with their human counterparts, those who had a dog around rated their teammates more highly than those who did not.
In the second experiment, researchers used a game known as “the prisoner’s dilemma.” A total of 13 four-member groups were involved, and each member of the team was “charged” with a crime. Players had to decide whether or not to snitch on their teammates, and the fate of the individuals was dependent on those choices. The results? Those volunteers who had a dog around were 30% less likely to snitch than their dog-less counterparts.
We’ve all heard the other research that tells us that owning a pet can help lower blood pressure, that pets encourage people to exercise, which can help with stress management and overall health, and that having a pet can even help us increase our social circles (How many times have you been stopped by a stranger who wants to pet your dog?)
Keep in mind that with pets comes great responsibility, but if you’ve got the time and patience, the benefits of unconditional love make it all worthwhile.
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