For the foreseeable future, HSLS staff and faculty will be spending a lot more time at home with their non-traditional “co-workers.” We aren’t talking about human co-workers. We are speaking about our furry, scaly, and slimy “co-workers” who work for cuddles and treats, also known as our pets. The majority of HSLS staff and faculty have been working from home since March. While we certainly miss being in-person with our library family, we have been fortunate enough in the past few months to work alongside our lovely additional “co-workers” at home.
While the idea of working from home surrounded by pets may seem bothersome, there are numerous benefits to having a pet at home, especially while quarantining. As stated by the American Heart Association, pets can contribute to your overall mental health by easing loneliness and helping to reduce stress and depression while increasing happiness. Working from home with pets also has increased productivity benefits. When you are less stressed and anxious, your productivity will increase because you aren’t spending time worrying. While we all do our part to stop the spread of COVID by staying home, our pets help to bring us comfort during these unsettling times.
HSLS staff and faculty have a diverse group of pets, including aquatic life. In a study published by the National Library of Medicine, researchers focused on how interacting with fish and other marine life in aquariums can increase human health and well-being. Simply observing the fish gliding through the water can help to reduce blood pressure and heart rate. Have you ever wondered why there are aquariums in waiting rooms? They are there to help reduce anxiety levels before appointments. So, those with aquariums in their homes may find themselves less stressed and more focused while working remotely.
~Marissa Spade and Arlie Chipps