The business community remains highly competitive, and business owners are doing their very best to build a strong morale amongst workers. With a clear goal in mind to lessen the burden and day-to-day stress of working, business owners are introducing innovative ways to uplift employees’ spirits.
Amongst the many tried and tested methods of boosting workers’ spirits is letting employees bring their pets into the office. We can’t argue the fact that dogs are the cutest domesticated animals in the world – after all, who can resist their charming smiles, clever tricks, sweet gestures, and playful attitude?
Having dogs around can help keep the work environment fun and upbeat, but is it always productive and is it safe? Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of a dog-friendly workplace.
Pro: Dogs attract millennial talent
With the millennial generation expected to outnumber boomers by 2019, they’re considered one of the largest and most influential groups of workers. Attracting millennials has been notoriously difficult for many industries though, and making them stay at your business requires tremendous determination and a lot of convincing. Seen as future leaders and as a vital element for business growth, allowing them to bring dogs to work might help.
In a study, 7 out of 10 employees agreed that having pets at work makes a positive impact on office dynamics and workplace morale. So why would bringing dogs in the office attract millennials? It’s simply – because they feel more secure and happier knowing that they can bring their four-legged friend to work without hesitation. For millennials, working at pet-friendly companies means:
- Lifting and improving their mood, as well as promoting happiness, in a natural and fun way.
- Encouraging them to collaborate with others, since dogs are conversation starters in the office.
- Great savings in their pockets, since they don’t have to spend cash on dog daycare centers.
Pro: Pets help relieve stress
Dogs along with other pets are natural stress relievers. They help make home a welcoming sanctuary by adding some fun and laughter in the air. These benefits are translated into the workplace when employees are allowed to bring their pets to work. And with stress levels naturally high at all times in the office, dog-friendly workplaces contribute to the overall health and wellbeing of employees. Who doesn’t want to see a healthy employee full of vigor and vitality?
- Hanging out with our furry friend after a stressful event helps lower cortisol, the stress hormone.
- Dogs at work are beneficial for workers with high blood pressure as they promote relaxation.
- A pet-friendly workplace offers emotional support for anxious and pressured employees.
Pro: Employees can stay late when needed
Just like moms and dads, pet parents are equally worried when they’re forced to leave their dogs at home when they go to work. Especially if they’re caught up in an important matter that needs them to stay for extended working hours, they often feel restless, bothered, and irritable. And even if they chose to stay late, their minds might be elsewhere worried about Fido patiently waiting for them to get home.
By simply allowing dog lovers to bring their pets at work, dog-friendly workplaces help avoid such a conflict of priorities. So even if an employee needs to stay late in the office, he or she can still focus on important things that matter without adversely affecting morale. In the end, projects and tasks are satisfactorily completed while Fido sits comfortably in the office until everything is well taken care of.
Pro: Dogs encourage exercise and healthy breaks
How many times have you experienced being focused on something at work for hours yet unable to concentrate on what needs to be done? It may sound strange, but working too long on any task without a break can actually be counterproductive instead of productive. But if you bring your dog to work, you’re required to take productive breaks, which is what most workaholic employees need.
Pet owners have obligations to meet when they bring Fido to work. Mandatory dog walking is essential for dogs to do their business, and you can’t say no to them when they’ve got to go. How about those hard to resist belly rubs that would force even the most dedicated employee to turn away from their computer screens. A pet-friendly office ultimately promotes:
- A healthy environment for employees by allowing them to take quick productive breaks.
- Passive exercise at work by doing simple dog tricks such as fetch, run, roll over, and many more.
- Small breaks, which serve as an important step to increase morale, boost productivity, and improve focus.
Cons: The downside of a pet-friendly office
There’s nothing wrong with turning your business into a pet-friendly company but there are some caveats that need to be considered. It’s a given fact that not everyone is an animal lover and co-workers may not enjoy having a furball roaming around freely in the office. The most common disadvantages of building a dog-friendly work environment are as follows but not limited to:
- It’s a potential source of distraction for some employees that need to focus on work.
- Not all employees can stand the cuteness of dogs, or they have allergies and phobias.
- Dogs will often chew anything they want and might cause damage to office equipment.
- Bringing dogs to work may pose legal issues due to animal bites and related injuries.
Dog-friendly workplaces offer a whole new type of environment for employees. But to be on the safe side, establishing a pet policy that outlines the do’s and don’ts will help eliminate any potential problems that might arise along the way.