There are times when employers may overlook some seemingly unorthodox practices that appear to be inappropriate at the workplace while not recognizing many benefits offered to workers, staff, supervisors and the company itself. Having a pet-friendly office environment is one of these examples.
But you might be surprised when given the popularity of cat cafes and other pet-friendly environments that seem to be popping up all over the place.
So let’s look at these six, practical ways that pets are better at the office than they are at home when it comes to nearly everyone involved:
#1 - Focus
When at work, it’s important to stay focused on vital tasks at hand. But for some pet owners, they may be concerned or distracted by their absent pet while they’re working. Think of it this way, if an animal lover has a dog or cat at home that’s kept outside during the day, this employee could be worried about their animal escaping, outdoor threats like skunks or other wildlife that could cause them harm, injury or even death.
#2 – Work Place Culture Benefits
Whether it’s your customers or employees, there’s a positive concept that comes from having these cuddly creatures inside an office environment. A pro-pet policy sets the tone for the office as comfortable, open and flexible. As long as there's an "understanding that everyone keeps their teeth to themselves and remembers where the fire hydrant is office mates will actively seek out their favorite pups and helps to create better interaction oriented office culture.
#3 - Health
There are many different aspects of pet ownership that offer health benefits to their human counterparts. Everything from lowering blood pressure and thereby reducing the risk of heart failure or stroke to reducing stress levels. If there’s anywhere that needs some serious stress reduction, it would be inside the workplace.
#4 – Productivity
According to a recent article on Business.com, pet-friendly offices are becoming more and more accepted and popular in the U.S. Given the physical and emotional benefits to owning a pet mentioned above, it’s not surprising that this school of thought can directly contribute a positive and productive working environment. When someone has to stop and walk their dog briefly a few times a day it helps to break up the flow of workday and provide a few head-clearing moments. That time ultimately allows employees to reset and refocus for the rest of the day.
#5 - Communication
In any environment with an array of different personality types, genders and other human factors, communication levels can break down. But who can resist the temptation of a fellow employee with a cute little critter with them at work? Even if coworkers are just saying hello to a pet as they pass by, this increases interaction, which enables more communication and camaraderie among employees.
#6 - Activity
One of the health threats that many office workers face comes from a lack of mobility they face while at the job site. Often they’re simply so focused on the job they forget to get up and move around. This type of activity like taking Fido out for a walk increases circulation and this type of better blood flow is also great for better creativity and higher concentration levels.
Even though this seems like a win-win situation for both employees and those who employ them, there are other items that should be weighed before instituting this type of policy. There may be existing or future employees who are allergic to animals and these pets should always be properly licensed and current on their vaccinations to be allowed into this public space.