Top 4 Benefits of Pets in the Workplace

Are you trying to convince your place of work to go pet-friendly? If you work from home, that's an easy argument to make; otherwise, you may need to work a little harder to make your case! A 2015 Society for Human Resource Management survey found 8 percent of American workplaces allow employees to bring their furry loved ones to work, up from 5 percent in 2013. (Source)

It may seem like having your pet around is just going to be nothing but fun and games, but with the right considerations, more and more companies may want to consider the benefits:

 

1. Stress Reducers

Pets are proven stress reducers.

Do you ever come home after a long, stressful day and pet your dog or cat? Just feeling their fur, having their presence close to you, gives you a sense of calm and relief. Who knows if anyone can explain exactly how this phenomenon works, but scientific studies back up the feeling that we experience.

The International Journal of Workplace Health Management conducted a study where they looked at the stress levels of employees, and whether or not the presence of a dog made an impact. They did this by looking at the cortisol levels in the morning versus at the end of the day. The people who spent the day with a dog present had significantly lower stress levels at the end of the day versus those who did not.

 

Pets in the office can reduce stress

2. Employee Retention

Pets at work aid employee retention.

Keeping your staff happy and keeping the overall morale high are not always the easiest tasks to accomplish. When it comes to the overall success of an organization, retaining good employees is an important part of the formula. According to Fortune.com, 53% of people working in a non-pet friendly workplace say they would consider staying with the company if it allowed them to bring their pet to work.

 

3. Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Pets encourage bonding and conversation, which aid in collaboration and productivity.

Many companies see the value in coworker bonding and create team building outings and exercises. People who are able to bond and get along are able to collaborate more effectively and essentially are more productive.

An experiment conducted at the Central Michigan University looked at if the simple presence of a canine in the workplace would make people collaborate more effectively. They found that “those who had had a dog to slobber and pounce on them ranked their team-mates more highly on measures of trust, team cohesion and intimacy than those who had not.”

 

4. Increased Productivity

Pets help make employees more productive.

Imagine what a difference a walk after lunch would do. Instead of having the post lunchtime crash, a quick walk with a dog outside in the fresh air could give employees a boost of energy needed to get through the workday.

One study identified a great reason that people want to bring their dogs to work with them: they don't have to worry about their dogs being home alone. In some businesses, customers even enjoy seeing pets in the office, creating a good feeling that can positively impact the business's bottom line.

 

Things to Consider Before You Become a Pet-Friendly Business:

  • Allergies: You want to be respectful of employees who do not care to be around pets, or may have allergies. If possible, these employees should have a pet free space to work in.
  • Space: Will the workspace allotted to employees be conducive to bringing a pet? Some businesses have set up cubicles with special offerings such as doggie gates.
  • Vaccinations and Flea Medication: The last thing you want on your hands are pets getting sick or flea infested from coming to the office! It’s important to have a system in place to check the medical records of pets that are coming into the shared workspace.
  • Meeting New Fur-Friends: When new pets are introduced to the office regulars, it is a good idea to go slow, and have them first meet in a neutral area. This will hopefully defuse any territorial aggression.

 

If you have any questions about your dog's health and readiness to spend the workday with you, please contact us!

 

This blog post originally appeared on The Drake Center and has been adapted with permission for reposting.

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