Article written by Bridget Moncado
It is extremely important for everyone in the workplace to be happy and healthy. Stress and burnout are major problems that can lead to a loss in productivity, unhappy employees, and increased absences. Where suitable, pets in the workplace can help to reduce these stress-related illnesses. Bringing a pet to work has many benefits for the employee and the culture of the office. People who bring their pets to work are more relaxed, have better relationships with their co-workers, and are more productive than people who cannot bring their pets to work.
So what are the potential benefits of taking your dog or other pets to the office? And what is important to take into account when you bring your pet to work?
Potential positives include:
- Pets break the ice – pets can put people at ease and encourage conversations between colleagues
- Dogs ensure that employees take breaks from screens – Getting up to pat a pet or have a short walk helps the flow of mental creativity. Additionally, walking with colleagues is great for problem-solving and for bouncing around new ideas.
- Pets reduce stress – petting a dog or cat lowers blood pressure and can bring calmness. This can also be a source of comfort leading to less conflict and frustration.
- Pet-friendly offices can be seen as a great benefit for many employees – the ability to take your pet with you is seen as an added value to being a part of this particular office.
- Good for animal welfare – By allowing animals at work, pets don’t have to spend long days at home alone.
Potential negatives to consider:
- Your workplace might not be safe for a pet – it depends on the industry you work in, the building itself and how secure it is, the neighbourhood you work in (should the pet escape), whether the workplace is very noisy or chaotic, and many other workplace-specific factors.
- Your fellow employees might not want pets in the office – some people might be fearful of animals, may suffer from allergies, or have cultural objections to working in close proximity to pets.
- Your pet might not be suited to being in a workplace – this unfamiliar environment might cause stress or fear in your pet. It’s important to put the needs of the pet first.
These days, many forward-thinking companies are permitting workers to bring their pets to work, recognizing that employee well-being can be directly influenced by the presence of a pet in the workplace. It can help to reduce stress levels, encourage team cohesion, reduce absenteeism, and present a friendly, happy company image to customers.
Employees who bring their pets to work have higher levels of job satisfaction overall. This is very likely due to a combination of being near their pets, feeling the effects of lessened stress, and knowing their employers are adopting policies designed to make the office a happier environment. Sounds like a win-win-win situation all around!