Top 4 Benefits of Pets in the Workplace

By Gabrielle Feldman

Are you trying to convince your place of work to go pet friendly? 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.

It may seem like having your pet around is just going to be fun and games, but with the right considerations, more and more companies may want to consider the benefits.

 

1. 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, you feel 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.

Photo Credit: Emdot

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.

 

2. Employee Retention

 

 

Keeping your staff happy, and the overall moral high, is not always the easiest task 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 would consider staying with the company if they allowed them to bring their pet to work.

 

 

3. Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

 

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.

Photo Credit: Brian DeWitt

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

 

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

 

One study found that people who had their dog with them at work did not have anxiety about rushing home after work to take care of them. Therefore, they were able to put in longer work days. They also found that pet friendly companies also had less people call out for the day versus those who could not bring their pet to work.

 

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 work space 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 work space.
  • Meeting New Furends: 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.

Blog Image Credit: @ruby_thecorgi

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