When I was doing my undergraduate studies, a volunteer group would bring therapy dogs to campus during finals week to allow the students to decompress from their studies. Similarly, dog friendly offices can offer employees the same benefit. In addition, dog friendly offices promote frequent breaks and create more trust within the business. Not only are dog dog friendly offices great for the employee, but they are also great for the employer!
1. Pets in the workplace reduce stress
Pets in the workplace can make employees more happy and comfortable. Additionally, because pets need breaks, employees are more likely to get up, walk around, or even play with their pets which allows them to take a fun break away from their workload.
2. Pets in the workplace boost productivity
By taking breaks with their pets, employees become recharged and ready to focus on the tasks at hand. Pets also nurture trust and communication amongst employees by generating camaraderie. Happy employees who work together well boost productivity!
3. Pets nurture office morale
Pets are our silent but biggest supporters. Mess up on an assignment? They won’t care. Stressed about a deadline? They want some belly scratches to help you destress. Have a bad meeting with your boss? Your pet will greet you with a wagging tail when you come back. They think you are awesome and won’t let you forget it!
4. Pet friendly offices can help with employee recruitment
Pet friendly offices tend to have high employee satisfaction ratings. When your employees are happy, it becomes contagious and everyone wants to work in a friendly, happy, and productive workplace. Additionally, pet friendly offices are becoming a trendy recruitment tool for top talent in the millennial workforce yet only 8 percent of companies utilize this strategy.
5. Pet friendly offices can foster cross department/team bonding
Have you ever stopped on the street because you saw a super cute dog or one that looked just like yours? Imagine the same thing happening in the office. Who knew that Jennifer on the third floor also rescued a pit bull/lab mix that suspiciously has curly hair and may also be part poodle? So of course you have to stop and say “hi” to the dog and Jennifer…who knows what else you might find in common?!
6. Pet friendly offices can improve employee health
Dog owners typically have lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels due to being physically active with their pet. Pets have also been known to improve socialization of their human companions and boosting their self-worth.
7. Pet friendly offices can improve company culture
Having pets in the office can make employees feel more “at home” and relaxed which allows them to be more engaging in the office. It can even lead employees to WANT to come to work so if your office suffers with absenteeism, try providing a pet friendly workplace.
8. Pet friendly offices promote work/life balance
Nobody likes to leave their pet at home all day, so having a pet friendly office is an added convenience for pet owning employees. Employees wont have to use their lunch to let their pet out in the afternoon or spend additional money to hire a pet walker or pet sitter.
Although pet friendly offices may sound like a great idea, an office should adopt policies and procedures that cover the following:
- Pet hygiene. Pets should come to work clean, i.e. not dusty, no matted hair, and nails trimmed.
- Vaccine Records. Pets should be vaccinated to prevent any illnesses from spreading to other pets and these records should be kept up to date.
- Color coded leashes. Not all dogs are super pet friendly or super human friendly. Try color coding leashes so employees know how to interact with the variety of pet personalities in the office.
- Pet Committee. Although not necessary, it is a good idea to have formal group that keeps track of vet records and maintains order among the pets. They can even organize group walks, lunch and learn pet training, or honor pet birthdays!
- Allergy awareness. As much as we love our pets and I love mine even with my allergies to them; some folks don’t appreciate the pet dander. Your office should acknowledge employees with pet allergies and provide them with a pet free work area.
- Liability. Does your office insurance cover injuries if a dog bites someone or another dog? Or will you have the pet owner’s sign paperwork to accept all liability if their pet acts out?
- Designated pet relief area. It’s self explanatory but maybe go the extra step and provide doggy waste bags! Again, if you form a Pet Committee, this is something they can be responsible for managing.
Do you work in a pet friendly office? What are the Pros and Cons? If you don’t work in a pet friendly office, would you benefit form taking a pet to work? Let us know in the comments below!