GREAT FALLS — According to the American Institute of Stress, 83 percent of U.S. workers suffer from work-related stress, with 25 percent saying their job is the number one stressor in their lives.
One trend that some Great Falls businesses have taken on is bringing your own dog to work.
Colleen Barley from the Pathwise Group brings her German Shepherd - Bentley - to work every day.
"You can never have a bad day when you're hanging out at work all day with your best friend," Barley said. "Having a dog here in the office really creates a positive work environment. If you are ever having a stressful day, or just got off a stressful work call, being able to hang out with your dog is always a great time. If I'm working by myself here in the office, having a companion is always great too."
Bentley has been a part of the office since he was three months old.
When discussing the benefits of having him as an office dog, Barley said "I think it's important to already have a personality and demeanor that's laid back, friendly, enjoys and people. He's already had those qualities to him."
Barley added that taking Bentley to training has been a lot of help, noting the two important qualities are being well-behaved and quiet.
Reanna Schneider works as an esthetician at The Refinery in Downtown Great Falls. She brings her miniature dachshund Wallace to work.
Schneider said, "I usually have a couple clients a day. I bring him in, and he just hangs out in the room. He usually falls asleep on the floor. We are working on behavior, but otherwise, he's doing pretty good and getting used to it."
While the experience of bringing a dog to work is an enjoyment in itself, Schneider said the biggest joy comes from seeing people's reactions.
"He's pretty dang cute, and who doesn't love to see an adorable puppy?" Schneider said. "It's nice to see the look on their faces and I enjoy him so much, it's fun to have him with me."
While there may be various benefits to bringing a dog to work, it is essential to know that not every dog is fit for every work place, and to keep in mind of fellow employees. It’s important to weigh every pro and con before you show up with your companion and to always check with your employer before doing so.