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Should Your Company Allow Office Dogs?

Many offices have an open-pet policy in which employees can bring their furry friends into work; others even let a prized pooch become a company mascot of sorts, boosting morale and winning over clients. Should office dogs become a part of every workplace?

Possibly. A March study by Virginia Commonwealth University researchers revealed that workers who brought their dogs in to work had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol than those who didn't bring them. What's more, 80 percent of the workers who didn't bring dogs to work felt that the pooches' presence didn't negatively influence productivity.

"We think dogs' presence in the workplace may reduce stress for their owners, increase job satisfaction even for those without pets, and it may increase perceptions of organizational support," management professor Randolph Barker told CNN. "It's a low-cost wellness intervention, or benefit, that's available readily to any organization."

Several big companies already allow dogs in the office. Google, for example, calls itself a "dog company." Amazon lets employees bring their dogs into work, but they must be on a leash. Most organizations stipulate that office dogs must be vaccinated, housebroken and well-behaved to minimize distractions to others.

Dog owners, are you able to bring your four-legged best friend into the office?

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(Photo credit: Mike McCune/Flickr)

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