It’s a benefit all animal-loving employees dream of having: A pet-friendly office. The idea of being able to bring your beloved cat or dog into work can be a huge relief for pet owners who worry about leaving their furry friend at home.
Pets in the workplace can benefit your employees in plenty of ways, which is why so many companies now allow workers to bring in their animals. There’s even a day dedicated to bringing your dog to work. Let’s take a look at how pets can improve your employees’ day at the office.
They relieve stress
Anyone who’s ever stroked a dog or a cat when they’ve felt down knows just how good pets are at reliving our stress. It’s been proven by studies too – research from the Virginia Commonwealth University revealed that the employees with the lowest stress levels are those that bring their dogs into work, whereas the highest belonged to workers who leave them at home.
All workers have their bad days, so having a Labrador who loves having his belly rubbed in the office can be handy.
They boost employee relationships
When you put lots of different people, from various backgrounds, into one office, you can be certain that they’re not all going to get along. This can create problems within the workplace, especially if some employees refuse to work with each other. A cute pet, however, can melt away all that resentment and create some common ground among workers.
It also helps new employees form relationships quicker. After all, it can be hard for people outside of an existing friendship group to work their way in. Everyone loves talking about their pets, though, so a dog or cat can really help break the ice.
They can reduce absenteeism
Pet owners don’t want to leave their animals at home, as they know they will be lonely, bored and sad without their human companion. Thus, it can be all too tempting to call in sick so they can spend more time with them, especially when their pet is under the weather themselves. Even when they do come to work, they might try and leave early so they can get home and take Fido for a walk.
If they were able to bring their dog into work, they could walk them throughout the day and stay later to ensure all their work is complete. It’s possible their productivity would increase too, as having their pet by their side is relaxing; their mind is no longer preoccupied by thoughts of the dog ripping up the kitchen flooring again.
They can drive creativity
Having a mind free of stress and worry is obviously going to boost creativity, but that’s not what we’re referring to. A study from Stanford University showed that walking can increase creative thinking by as much as 60 per cent when compared with sitting down. Yet according to CV-Library, 61 per cent of employees take their lunch break at their desk.
If employers want their workers to have productive afternoons, they need to motivate them to take the office dog for a walk at lunchtime instead. Workers who bring their own dogs in will need no encouragement!
They create a welcoming atmosphere
Having a pet or two in the office isn’t just beneficial for an employee’s own wellbeing; it’s great for winning over clients too. Any meeting is bound to get off to a good start when the customer is greeted by a gentle dog or a friendly cat. Animals have the innate ability to put a smile on almost anyone’s face.
A pet friendly office also shows your client just how approachable and human your company is, as you’re dedicated to keeping your employees happy. It’s no wonder that so many businesses are keen to make their office dog a big part of their brand, by including them within their marketing efforts. Nobody that comes to visit your office will forget you anytime soon, that’s for sure!
Thinking of creating a pet-friendly workplace? Here are some tips:
• Make sure all employees new and old are aware of the benefits, as not everyone can work around cats or dogs.
• Create quiet space where the animals can go when they need a rest from human interaction.
• If you let your employees’ cats or dogs wander around freely, it’s a good idea to let visitors know in advance in case they are allergic.
• Draw up some rules for employees who bring their pets in; you need to ensure they are well-trained and will get on well the other animals.
Cats and dogs make wonderful companions, even at the office! It’s clear that having a furry friend around can be hugely beneficial to a business –why not give it a try and see how it transforms your workplace?