Stressed at work? Dog-friendly workplaces can improve employee well-being, reducing stress and increasing productivity, according to an article in The Guardian.

Dog-friendly offices denote hints of a culture shift in the UK. Employment agency published a study showing this shift — 8% of employees in the UK can now bring their dogs to work.

Food and drink company Nestle joined this movement last year, allowing its 1,000-plus employees to bring their dogs to work in their City Place headquarters in Gatwick, England.

“The atmosphere in the office is warmer now and more sociable,” Odette Forbes, a Nestle employee, told The Guardian. “People will stop you to pet your dog, so you start talking to someone in a different part of the company who you’d never normally have spoken to, or have only encountered over email.”

Benefits surpass making new connections in the workplace. Research shows that having dogs in the office not only reduces employee stress levels, but can also lead to increased trust and cohesion among colleagues working where a dog was present.

Another added benefit that comes with having dogs in the office is exercise and taking a moment to walk around, stretch your legs and your buddy’s paws.

Read more on The Guardian here.

Originally published at