We’ve all been there: sitting at an office desk, wondering how realtime service solutions and communications servers will impact the budget or contemplating how to increase revenue with CRM or maybe just considering what kind of pastries to order for next week’s board meeting.

Thinking about things is good, a necessary step for action, especially in business settings where one decision can affect employee lives, as well as the bottom line.

The trick is harnessing our thoughts so that we can actually solve any work issues in the least amount of time possible, to not let our minds wander (what is broadsoft application anyway?!) or become distracted from the task at hand (even if cream cheese danishes do remind us of our late Nana and how much we miss her).

Rational reasoning forms the basis of all good decisions, with a lot of research focused on enhancing it and, therefore, workplace productivity.

But what if the answer was actually pretty simple?

What if your pet held the answer?!

Here’s how animals just might be the unlikely key to workplace productivity…

Animals Help Reduce Stress

Studies show that even a picture of a cute puppy helps to reduce our perceived levels of stress, with physical interaction actually decreasing the level of cortisol in our bodies. And we all know that less stress translates into better focus and better thinking.

Animals Inspire Camaraderie

Let’s face it. People flock to animals. Chances are high that if you bring an animal to work, your officemates will gather around to pet and talk about it. Sharing a mutual interest brings people together and encourages camaraderie, fostering increased communication and social interaction that leads to increased cooperation and productivity.

Animals Encourage Presence

Bringing a pet to the office encourages everyone to get to work — both literally and figuratively! Having a pet in the workplace means you don’t have to worry about running home to take it on potty breaks or to feed or entertain it throughout the day. Instead, you can more fully concentrate on your workday. An office pet also encourages others to come in, since they’ll likely look forward to greeting it each day. Being present results in more work getting done.

Animals Promote a Healthy Lifestyle

Pets need exercise and often require potty breaks. In the office, someone will need to be responsible for taking an office pet outside and/or playing with it at some point during the day. And even if the pet is more low-maintenance (such as a cat or fish), just a quick break to say “hello” to it can be a welcome opportunity for us to practice self-care. Research shows that just a few minutes of downtime can help us recharge and refocus our minds, better preparing us for further work. What do you think? Could pets be the answer to increased productivity in your office?