With the rise of Google, Facebook, and other trendy, Millennial-driven companies, workplaces these days are looking pretty different than they did even a decade ago. These days, it’s not unusual to see full kitchens loaded with complimentary snacks, game rooms filled with ping pong tables, and even nap rooms galore. Some, even have unofficial mascots in the form of office dogs and cats!

We know that some of you may be rolling your eyes at the mere idea of an office cat or dog, but as it turns out, office pets aren’t just a novelty–their presence is actually very beneficial to their human counterparts.

Marie-José Enders studies the relationship between animals and humans at Open University in the Netherlands. In an interview with Business Insider, she revealed why all businesses should consider adopting office pets. 

“It’s definitely good for the work atmosphere to have a dog in the office,” Enders said. “Not only does your cortisol level drop when you stroke a dog; you also produce more of the hormone oxytocin, which makes you feel more relaxed and happy.”

It certainly doesn’t come as a surprise to us that dogs, in particular, have such a beneficial effect on people working in stressful work environments. We already know that dogs help us get a better night’s sleep–in fact, science says we get more sleep when sharing the bed with a dog than we do when sharing the bed with a partner.

Random and true!

But, we digress. Enders had much more to say about the many benefits of bringing animals into traditional office settings. According to the researcher, the mere presence of office dogs helps with conflict resolution–even if the only conflict is in the mind of the employee. (We’ve all been there, right?)

“If your boss is giving you a hard time, a dog can make it easier to put certain situations into perspective. You can just take a bit of space and walk the dog,” said Enders. “An animal at work makes people more motivated — they like their work more and they experience less stress.”

Definitely makes sense! Having an office dog around means that you can technically peace out for a few minutes when things get a little too hectic.

Disagreement with a coworker? Solution: walk the dog.

Stuck on a tricky assignment? Solution: walk the dog.

Need to get in some much-needed cardio time? Solution: walk the dog.

Now, we know what (some) of you might be thinking right now–What about the cats?!

While office dogs are much more common than office cats, these “working” felines also do their fair share of good. According to information compiled by Cat Time, kitties do everything from attracting customers to helping employees cut down on unnecessary stress. Additionally, keeping a cat in the office can also help with pest control challenges. Circle of life for the win!

Yep, it’s all fun and games with kitty cats… though, they do have a bad habit of blocking laptop screens!

We’d love to hear your take on office animals. Does your office have an animal? If so, are you a fan of working alongside a fur baby? What other pets, besides dogs and cats, make good office animals?