Could Furry Friends Improve Workplace Morale?
Companies are always looking for ways to better their culture and improve workplace morale amongst their employees. By allowing employees to bring their pets to work companies are seeing increased productivity across the board accompanied with healthier employees. Internet giants like Amazon have been allowing dogs in the workplace since the 90’s, and have attributed some of the success of their workplace culture to their furry companions.
So what exactly are the benefits of bringing a pet to work?
Pets reduce stress and provide health benefits
Many pet owners consider their pets to be members of their family. There are several proven benefits, which come from owning a pet. This includes lower stress levels, as well as lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Pets are wonderful companions that often increase the need to get outdoors for exercise, which benefits the owner and can provide some much-needed socialization.
One of the best benefits that an animal can bring to a workplace is a less stressful environment. As a result, employees who are less stressed are far more productive and are much less likely to miss work due to being sick.
While most businesses allow employees to bring dogs into work to improve their health, some businesses opt for other animals such as cats or birds. If you own a small retail store and don’t have space for a dog, then a smaller animal such as a cat can be more space friendly and still be a source of stress relief for your employees.
Pet-friendly workplaces are more desirable
Many who are employed at pet-friendly workplaces were found to believe that having a pet on the premises improved the atmosphere of the workplace quite dramatically. Not only do pets in the workplace make an environment less stressful, workers feel less guilty about leaving a pet at home alone while they are at work. If an employee has their furry companion at their side, they are far more likely to work longer hours if needed.
Pet-friendly businesses can be very exciting for potential employees. It is a benefit that many younger generations, such as Millennials, find appealing. Allowing pets in the workplace is a great way to draw in a larger talent pool.
Benefits of pets in the workplace
- Happy productive workers – Many employees have reported lower stress levels and higher job satisfaction when pets are present in the workplace. Having happy employees in the workplace, due to the presence of their pet, naturally leads to an increase in productivity.
- Healthier employees – In addition to reduced stress levels, being around animals has documented positive effects on blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and the immune system.
- Increased loyalty – Many employees that work in an environment that is not pet-friendly, state that they would be more likely to continue working for a company if they were allowed to bring their pet to work.
Potential problems with pets in the workplace
- Not everyone loves animals- There are many people who do not like animals for one reason or another. Whether that is because of allergies or just a simple general dislike of animals, bringing pets into the workplace could hinder productivity and the quality of life for those particular individuals.
- Hygiene issues – Even the most well-trained animals have accidents from time to time. It is likely that an accident will occur while at the workplace, especially if a lot of animals are brought to work.
- Animal aggression – Just as not every person gets along, it is very likely that not all animals will get along, so there is always the potential for fights between dogs and cats.
How to develop a pet policy for the workplace
It is important to put a pet policy in place in the event your business decides to take advantage of this unique experience. Employees should be required to apply for permission in order to bring their pets into work. Each pet should be screened for any potential health or behavior issues that could impact the workplace negatively. If a pet is approved, there should be a probationary period to ensure the pet improves the workplace atmosphere.
Is important to keep dogs on a leash and cats kept in a safe space such as an office. Not only will it guarantee the safety of everyone in the office, but also the pets. Your business should also designate an outdoor area just for pets so they can do their business and get some fresh air throughout the day.
As with implementing any new workplace policy, there are always risks, but when it comes to allowing animals in the workplace, many businesses find that the benefits far outweigh them. If you think that having animals in the workplace could boost employee morale, reach out to your employees and get their opinions. They will be the ones to benefit from animals in the workplace the most.