As a pet-forward company, it’s incredibly common for our pets to take part in our daily meetings. We believe that the benefits of having our pets around far outweigh the distractions, and, having our pets with us can actually help to limit outside distractions that take up a lot of our day-to-day. Companies like Facebook, Amazon, and the like have all jumped on board the pet-friendly train.
Benefits of having a pet-friendly workspace
There are actually quite a few benefits to having a pet-friendly workplace, which continues to grow in popularity. Let’s explore a few of the most important for employers to consider.
Stress relief for employees
No shocker here, but pets provide a phenomenal way for us to reduce our stress levels at work. Being able to unglue our eyes from our many screens at work and spend a few minutes throwing a ball outside or taking a walk with a pet can be a great outlet to unwind a bit when employees start feeling overwhelmed. Even just having a pet on your lap when firing off hundreds of emails a day can help you feel calm and happy. There is a real soothing effect that pets can have on people – literally! There have been studies that pets can actually help you be healthier, more active, and even lower your blood pressure!
Improved social engagement
Who can resist walking up to a cute fluffy dog and saying hi!? While probably not the core reason people bring their pets to work, it’s a great side effect! It’s always nice meeting new people in the office or talking to peers that you may not talk to much or even work in the same department as. It can help with collaboration, team building, and overall team cohesion. It may sound a little far-fetched, but bring your own pooch into the office and see if someone you don’t normally talk to comes up or passes by you and strikes up a conversation about your little furball.
This is a big one. Leaving work to go home and walk or feed your pets takes time! Probably more than you’d think when you add it all up. And when they’re sick, even more. Questions like: What if something happens while I’m gone? What if Walter gets sneaky and figures out how to get his cone or wrap off and begins chewing or itching where he shouldn’t? What if he has an accident (throw up or… you know) on the rug? The day-to-day pet concerns can cause employees to be anxious all day at work. Between all the googling of symptoms, calls to vets, and attempts to find an appointment – these things take time out of every pet parents’ day. Having an app like Airvet allows employees to connect virtually with a veterinarian in minutes anytime, from anywhere. No need to rush out at lunch to go to the hospital. During these times, employees can stay more focused, more productive, and definitely a lot more calm.
Making sure your workplace and pets are a good fit
While there are clearly some incredible benefits to a pet-friendly workplace, there also has to be a good match between the pet and the workplace. If your employee has a dog who barks a lot and is extremely excitable by things at the office, i.e. cars driving by, sounds, TV, etc., that pet may become more of a distraction for you and others than anything. Or, if the dog doesn’t always get along great with other dogs and there’s constant bickering in the office between dogs (or their owners) as a result, you may find it more trouble than it’s worth! Additionally, consider those who are severely allergic to pets and make sure to accommodate the office space accordingly.
So, before making your workplace pet-friendly it’s important to think through all the pros and the cons and ensure that you have protocols in place to handle the outliers. There are solutions to most of these cons, like designated areas for pets, etc. but it’s essential to acknowledge them nonetheless. Because, when it works, it’s one of the best things to be able to have and to offer employees to enjoy!