If done properly, allowing pets in the workplace can improve reduce stress levels, improve employee morale and increase productivity overall. Knowing how pets in the office can help improve your company culture and productivity while lowering healthcare costs can help you create a more positive and profitable work environment.
Pets Reduce Stress
Maybe it’s because pets lighten the mood, or perhaps it’s because pet owners who leave pets at home start to miss their animal friends, but for whatever reason, studies have shown that people who bring their pets to work experience less stress throughout the work day than those people who leave their pets at home.
Since stress reduction can reduce blood pressure and improve employee health and productivity overall, bringing pets to the office is a relatively inexpensive way to make your office a better place for your employees.
Pets Can Be Team Building
Presence of pets in the workplace is naturally team building. Pet lovers tend to bond over the presence of their pets. Presence of pets also helps lighten the mood for the entire office, which can make it easier to have open discussions and get creative juices moving. This leads to more productive team meetings and a more collaborative work environment overall.
Pets in the workplace can help improve employee morale by creating a more collaborative, less stressful work environment. Employee morale may also improve as a result of feeling like company management supports a unique, fun workplace for employees.
Deepen Employee Commitment
People who enjoy bringing their pets to the office will think twice before leaving the workplace for a different office, because it’s an uncommon benefit that can be difficult to find elsewhere. As employees stay at their jobs for longer, employee relationships are strengthened by their longevity, and employees become better at their jobs because of their increased knowledge of the company and its practices. This helps reduce stress at the office and increase employee happiness.
Best Practices for Pets at the Office
If your company currently allows no pets at the office and would like to introduce employee pet policy, these tips will help.
- Perform a pet assessment. Before you can change your policies to allow pets at the workplace, it’s important to find out how your employees would be affected by this kind of change. Employees who are allergic to pets can be significantly impacted by presence of pet dander in the workplace. Survey your employees to find out who would have a negative reaction to pets in the workplace and how your company could lessen these problems while still allowing pets at your office.
- Research local laws. Find out your local ordinances regarding pets in public places. Whatever policies you develop must follow all local laws.
- Establish rules. Your company will need to decide which type of pets can be brought to the office, where the pets are allowed to go and when they’ll be allowed inside. Your company will also need to address any issues regarding hygiene and office cleanliness. Litter boxes in the office must be regularly emptied, dog and cat hair must be swept up and the area around water and food dishes must be kept properly clean.
Allowing pets in the office can improve your work culture overall, if it’s done properly. If your company would like to introduce pets to the office as a part of your wellness program, you’ll need guidance as you move forward. Contact HealthyWorks for more information about improving employee happiness and wellness with a pet-friendly office policy.