You may have noticed a rising trend in the workplace – pet-friendly offices. According to the Society of Human Resource Management, there has been a 40% increase in the number of pet-friendly workplaces in the past five years.
One of the main benefits is improved productivity. The presence of their pet encourages employees to take brief breaks throughout the day, which makes them more productive in the long run. Employees are more willing to put in longer hours, because they’re not worried about their pet sitting at home. Pet-friendly offices also help strengthen social connections between colleagues, which can engender a more cohesive working environment.
Pet-friendly companies frequently see a decrease in employee stress levels and less absenteeism from work. An article published in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management showed that levels of stress declined in a group of employees who brought their dogs to work. Those same pet-led breaks that increase productivity often involve walks, which help lower stress levels and are a boon to employee health, leading to fewer illnesses and less sick days. Researchers from the University of Missouri-Columbia showed that simply petting animals can reduce stress in humans.
A pet-friendly workplace also increases employee retention. It gives employees peace of mind, knowing their pets are safe and cared for. It’s also a financial perk, as they don’t have to pay for a pet sitter or daycare. It increases employee satisfaction, making workers feel more supported by their employer. It also boosts morale, as even employees without pets benefit from an office that seems more comfortable and relaxed, with a sense of fun and humor.
There are a few things to consider before enacting a pet-friendly office policy. It must be well thought out, and planned in advance. Pet allergies should be taken into consideration. Animals should be well behaved and current on vaccinations, with flea and tick prevention measures taken. Perhaps your office will be the next to join this growing trend!