Can pets in the office not just boost moods, but also boost productivity?
Tuck your pet’s lunch alongside your own tomorrow because from here on out, every day should be Take Your Dog to Work Day.
A pro-pup workplace has been touted as an office benefit many lust after but few actually experience. Our Ohio digital marketing agency has boasted a pet friendly policy since its start in 2009, and the approach has been an unquestionable key to success.
That’s because, aside from the cuteness factor, the mental and physical benefits of pets in the workplace are undeniable. Perks such as improved mood and decreased stress-related ailments such as heart disease, high blood pressure, depression and anxiety, lead to a better workplace, and therefore, better business.
Still not convinced? Here are a few studies making the case for pets joining your team.
Not just for marketing agencies, pet friendly policies can lead to:
- Less stress: A 2012 study from Virginia Commonwealth University found that individuals who brought their dogs to work felt lower levels of stress and higher job satisfaction than those who owned a dog but didn’t bring it to work or who didn’t own pets at all. According to an article in USA Today, petting, or even just the touch of, an animal calms fear, stress or anxiety. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention affirm similar stress-relieving benefits.
- Stable work-life balance: Studies show that individuals are more likely to show up for work on time and stay for longer hours when employed at a company that welcomes their pet. Think about it: if you don’t have to rush home to walk or feed your friend, you can burn the midnight oil.
- Water bowl chat: Incorporating pets in the workplace has been shown to create social interactions that wouldn’t happen without the pet.
- Mind-body exercise: With a pet in office, the opportunities to break from your work to walk or play with the pup are enhanced. Clearing your mind and stretching your limbs is shown as a boon to your productivity and creativity as well as your physical health.
Petitioning your office for a pet friendly policy
But before you move your fluff ball and his abundance of toys into your cubicle, there are a few items to address.
It is critical to first feel out your co-workers’ opinions—does anyone have serious allergy issues or a fear of dogs? Your fellow employees are assets to your idea. Collect endorsements from them that you can then present in a scheduled conversation with your company’s leadership team or supervisor. You’ll also want to pitch the benefits, explaining how the added addition will elevate your workplace.
Next, identify potential workplace hazards. Is it realistic to stock your office with food and water? Would clients balk at the idea of having a pet in a meeting? Could the pet escape or even be injured?
Finally, resist getting caught up in the excitement of your pal accompanying you to work. Just like preparing your pet for travel or another lifestyle change, his or her health should be prioritized. Check your records to ensure your pet is current on vaccines and consider if he or she is socialized to settle in around a host of new people. Just like humans, not all pets are born with an extroverted personality, and a dog in distress will invalidate the workplace advantages of a puppy policy.
Set the tone for a happier, healthier workplace by following the lead of the 17 percent of American companies already incorporating doggy day care into their work days. Your company’s bottom line—and four-legged friends—will thank you.