Working from home can be a boon or bane. It certainly adds to convenience but the fact that most professionals these days are inside their homes throughout the day can lead to many problems like depression, loneliness, and feeling of dissatisfaction. This fact has been recognized by a Hong Kong based company, Senwood Co., Limied, who, along with experts Brenda Vitorino and Jessica N. D’avila from Petswith.me are making people aware of the need for pets in work from home era. Petswith.me aims to improve the life of pets and pet owners globally.
The opinion of experts and the conclusion from the research reports below clearly highlight why it is essential for professionals to adopt a pet in the work-from-home era.
1. Pets reduce the probability of depression
According to a study and a control group of 140 pet owners and 140 non-pet owners, the pet owners were found to be 51% less depressed as compared to their counterparts.
The findings are not that surprising, considering psychiatrists and therapists also recommend owning a pet to gain maximum benefit from therapy.
Another study found that pet owners experience a faster reduction in symptoms of depression. Since four different indicators of depression were used to conclude the same, the study had a solid foundation.
2. Pets help manage stress better
Research has thrown up many novel ways to deal with stress. While many of them require a lot of time and effort, spending time with dogs or owning a pet is certainly one of the more effective and practical ways to beat stress.
A 2018 study by the University of British Columbia concluded that therapy dog sessions help distressed students. Besides that, the same study concluded that spending one-on-one time with dogs can boost the mental wellness of stressed-out individuals.
With most individuals leading a stressful lifestyle, owning a pet can work as therapy for them. Work-from-home lifestyle or hybrid work culture has increased stress levels among most professionals.
On the flip side, with professionals spending more time at home, owning a pet can work as a stress buster, as explained in the study above. Senwood Co., Limited is also helping individuals realize the importance of owning a pet because of its health benefits.
3. Pets have a calming effect
Serotonin is responsible for making the individual more calm and focused. Similarly, dopamine can motivate an individual.
Thinking, what this has to do with pets?
A study by the University of New Mexico discovered that spending time with a dog or cat can increase dopamine and serotonin levels resulting in a calming effect. Apart from that, spending time with pets improves health, resulting in fewer trips to the doctor.
The same study highlighted that even hardened criminals benefited from spending one-on-one time with dogs. Arguably, spending time with dogs can calm one down and has various other therapeutic effects.
At the bottom of this finding was the basic human need for touch and affection, which goes missing when working from home.
4. Pets alleviate mood
The research mentioned above clearly pros pets help to manage stress better and reduce the symptoms of depression.
Once an individual can deal with these, wouldn’t his/her mood alleviate?
Of course, it will!
Combine this with the high levels of serotonin and dopamine, which will elevate one’s mood.
Even on a dull day, spending a few minutes with pets can help an individual reduce negativity and lead a fulfilling life.
5. Pets provide a sense of companionship
Pets do not discriminate among individuals. As highlighted in the research above, pets add a calming effect even on hardened criminals. That is because the positive benefits of pets are non-discriminatory.
Experts like Brenda Vitorino (Bachelor in Animal Science) agree that a pet’s love and companionship are non-discriminatory. Factors like race, gender, and location don’t matter.
The companionship a pet provides fulfills the basic human need of being loved. Couple this with other benefits like the elimination of stress and elevation of mode, and it is easy to understand why one might benefit so much from the company of pets.
The research is backed by a study that concluded that people adopted more pets than ever during lockdown when they felt lonely and needed some companionship.
The same report states that the feeling of companionship that pets provide to individuals and families is the reason why even after the lockdown, most families retained their pets.
Extensive research by Dasha Grajfoner, proved the benefit of pets in the mental health and well-being of individuals during the lockdowns.
Work-from-home routines of most individuals further accentuated the feeling of isolation among individuals. If pets were able to minimize the feeling of loneliness of individuals during lockdowns, they could certainly do so while working from home.
6. Pets owners are likely to spend more time outdoors
Working from home robs off the time spent outdoors. According to this Yahoo Article, spending time outdoors, especially in the sun, can reduce the symptoms of depression. Not only that, staying indoors most of the time can offset the internal body clock, which impacts sleep quality, making one anxious and depressed.
One thing which is pretty evident is individuals need to devote more time to outdoor activities while working from home. This is where having a pet can help.
A study revealed that dog owners spend more time in a natural outdoor environment than others. Couple this with the report, which provides that spending time outdoors results in better mental health, lower stress, better mood, and less probability of psychiatric disorders. It is easy to understand why pets are better for mental health.
In a nutshell, owning a pet helps with spending time outdoors, even in this era of work from home, resulting in better mental health.
7. Pet owners exercise more
Working from home has hampered the lifestyle of most people. Such individuals partially or entirely miss out on physical exercise and workouts. Since commuting has been eliminated from the lifestyle of such individuals, their physical activity has drastically reduced.
Pets are the answer to this problem as well. A New York Times article stated dog owners are likely to exercise for 300 minutes a week while walking their dogs. That is 200 minutes more as compared to non-dog owners. A similar trend was found to be true for most other pet owners.
Most pets enjoy time outdoors, so pet owners take them for a walk or a stroll. Since spending time outdoors is a necessity for most pets rather than a luxury, the same is true for pet owners.
8. Pets can minimize PTSD symptoms
To recover from PTSD, an individual needs to fight the symptoms of depression and avoid being lonely. Dogs and other pets can help with both these elements. Research proves dogs can help individuals recover from PTSD symptoms.
On the flip side, these symptoms can become more severe if one has gone through a traumatic experience and is working from home. After that, it becomes difficult to combat PTSD. The simplest way is to adopt a pet to overcome the symptoms and lead a more fulfilling life.
9. Pets help individuals with special needs
Working from home is especially difficult for individuals with medical conditions and psychiatric disorders. Such individuals find it difficult to stick to a proper work-life balance. Without a proper work-life balance, they are more prone to suffer from stress and depression symptoms.
A study proved that pets, especially service dogs, can help individuals suffering from mental health conditions. It means that even for individuals who traditionally find it difficult to work from home, adopting a pet can mean they can be a part of the workforce and still handle their disorders better.
According to Animal Scientist Jessica N. D’avlia, service dogs offer them the same benefits as therapy dogs and can also help individuals who suffer from stress, depression, or panic attacks.
When adopting such a dog, coping with the stress of working from home certainly reduces.
10. Pet owners are more satisfied and happy
Most employees and professionals initially liked the advent of working from home. However, once professionals started spending most of their time indoors, they realized that it could lead to depression, loneliness, and lack of activity. This, in turn, made them unsatisfied and sad.
Pets can help here as well. A study demonstrated the correlation between having a pet and the improvement in pet owners’ physical/mental health. A study that included 263 American adults concluded that pet owners are more satisfied and happy with their life than non-pet owners. The trend was similar among dog owners as well as cat owners.
With the lines between work life and personal life being blurred, it is common for individuals to feel unsatisfied even after putting in their best effort at work.
Simply by adopting a pet, one can be happy even if the lines between work and personal life remain blurred.
The Hong Kong company Senwood states that pets are more important than ever for individual’s mental health in this work-from-home era. The overwhelming research cited above leaves no doubts that owning a pet in this era is beneficial.
So, when an individual suffers from the side effects of working from home, it might be time to consider adopting a pet.