There has been a significant increase in the number of companies that allow employees to bring their pets to the workplace. Why are employers making this change?
The reality is that the benefits of having pets in the workplace far outweigh the negatives.
Pets At Work Help Lower Stress
Dozens of studies performed over several decades have shown that owning a pet helps to lower cortisol, a stress hormone. Pets also help to lower blood pressure. Lower cortisol and blood pressure also help to reduce depression and anxiety.
At the same time, pets help to increase oxytocin, a chemical associated with happiness.
These effects don’t just take place at home - it happens whenever a pet and owner are together, including in the workplace.
Pets Help To Improve Collaboration
It’s no secret that pets help their owners meet other people. When introduced into the workplace, pets not only help introduce coworkers who might have never spoken otherwise, they also help current teammates to collaborate more.
In an experience performed by Central Michigan University, groups who were tasked to work together that also were allowed to have dogs around during their project ranked their teammates higher when asked about trust, intimacy, and cohesion.
Pets Help To Improve Morale
It’s important for companies to keep morale high, otherwise, the quality and quantity of work suffer. It follows that since pets make people feel happy and less stressed, they also boost morale at the office.
Companies That Allow Pets Keep Employees Longer
Many employees love that they can bring their pets to work since the office is where they spend the majority of their waking hours. Once an owner and pet are given the opportunity to fully spend the day together, it can be difficult to give that up.
Bringing pets to the workplace can be very beneficial. However, there are steps that should be taken to ensure that every pet-friendly workplace is safe.
Tips For Bringing Pets To Work
Here’s what employers and owners should take into consideration when bringing pets into the workplace.
- Require Vaccinations: Vaccines help to keep pets healthy and happy. Many vaccines prevent the spread of communicable diseases, like distemper. Owners should provide a copy of their up-to-date vaccinations before bringing their pets to work.
- Practice Good Hygiene: Hygiene doesn’t just mean clean - it also means that pets should be treated with preventatives to prevent the spread of parasites like fleas.
- Slow Introductions: Bringing a pet to work for the first time can be stressful for both the owner and pet. Be slow to introduce animals to one another and be sure to communicate any restrictions to fellow employees.
- Bring A Crate Or Gate: Sometimes pets need a quiet space to calm down. Bring a pet crate or gate that can be used to create that safe place.
When everyone works together, bringing pets to the workplace can be a wonderful experience!
Written by Esme Mailloux, CVT
Colarelli, Stephen. (2017, February 17). A Companion Dog Increases Prosocial Behavior in Work Groups. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/08927936.2017.1270595
Johns Hopkins Medicine. (n.d.) The Friend Who Keeps You Young. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/the-friend-who-keeps-you-young#:~:text=Reduce%20stress.,that%20bonds%20mothers%20to%20babies).
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