Work Culture

4 reasons office pets are a great idea!

As many may well know, an inspired office design layout can help enhance creativity, promote productivity and boost morale. There are also other ways you can improve the workspace for greater health and happiness of your employees as well as the betterment of your business. Office pets are becoming a much more popular trend for just this reason. Consider these ways that an open-door policy toward pets can be a great benefit:

Eases employee stress
According to the American Institute of Stress, the workplace is by and far the largest source of stress for adults. Over long periods of time, anxiety and tension can cause real physical damage, and there’s a strong correlation between stress and cardiovascular disease.

But bringing one’s canine, cat or other furry friend has been shown to ease anxiety. A 2012 Virginia Commonwealth University study found that workers who brought their dogs to the office for the span of just one week reported greater overall job satisfaction and reduced tension. The researchers confirmed this by taking saliva samples, finding reduced levels of the stress hormone cortisol as the week went on. By comparison, workers in the study who left their dogs at home experienced no improvements in anxiety levels.

A pet-welcome policy can boost morale and productivity in the workplace. A pet-welcome policy can boost morale and productivity in the workplace.

Fosters communication
Office pets have a unique capacity to bring people together, and incorporating them into the workplace can encourage people to mingle and bond over the shared love of their furry friends. As Jeanine Falcon, vice president of human resources at home goods retailer Replacements, Ltd., explained to AARP, the company utilizes a pets-welcome policy as an inexpensive and effective way to make the office friendlier and more pleasant.

“Animals can create a great connection between co-workers,” Falcon said. “For any business, that’s a powerful tool, as well as an employee benefit, that comes at little or no cost.”

“A pet-friendly policy is low-cost way to boost productivity.”

Reduces absenteeism
It only makes sense that a reduction in stress in the office space and and improved morale would encourage workers to show up everyday. But introducing pets into the workplace can reduce absenteeism, which can be very costly to business, in another key way: through an improved work-life balance. Employees can incorporate a little bit of their home lives into the workspace, and that simple means of adding comfort to the environment can actually make workers feel happy and excited to go to the office each morning.

Boosts productivity
The bottom line for businesses is profit, which requires productivity. Fortunately, a low-cost and easy way to boost efficiency is with a pet-friendly policy. When people can bring their pets to work with them, they won’t be sitting at their desks worrying about their dogs or cats at home alone. Rather, the pet serves as a source of encouragement and motivation. Replacements, Ltd. found this to be the case when it began experimenting with the concept of dogs in the workplace, as public relations manager Lisa Conklin explained to Inc.

“The study proved what we always thought: Having dogs around leads to a more productive work environment, and people get to know each other through the pets,” Conklin said. “If you are in a position where something is stressful, seeing that wagging tail and puppy smile brightens the day – it can turn around the whole environment.”

office pets in the workplace can bring employees closer together and fosters communication.A well-behaved kitten in the workplace can bring employees closer together and fosters communication.

Allowing pets in the workplace goes beyond having a cute, furry friend to play with. It can drastically improve employee satisfaction, bolster efficiency and inspire people to communicate and collaborate. However, there are some concerns that come with pets in the office. For instance, employees with allergies to pet hair may be opposed. In such cases, the right office space design can help – a closed layout with offices that keep dander from floating about and contain the pets to a personal space. Additionally, it may be wise to have written rules regarding pet licensure, vaccination and behavior to ensure a safe and healthy environment for all employees.

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