Pets in the Workplace. Friend or foe?

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Team building exercises, “away days“ and regular work nights out are all tried and tested ways to boost morale and communication in the workplace. However, there may be a cheaper and all together more calming every day alternative- bringing your pet to work.

An increasing number of companies are encouraging their employees to bring their pets to work, in the hope to generate a more creative environment and have altogether happier and healthier employees.

Here’s what you need to consider before packing up your pet, to ensure that your beloved furry friend makes a positive impact.

Should I bring my pet to work?

Bringing your pet to work offers benefits for both you and your pet, but it is mainly dogs that have been given the workplace touch of approval. Always take a sensible approach before letting your animal loose. If you have a more exotic pet like a snake, it isn’t likely to go down well with many. If your pooch is as large as a Newfoundland it will invade limited space and be an unwelcomed addition to your office.

Bringing your dog to work is the ultimate ice breaker, allowing you to introduce yourself to co-workers you may not know in other departments. It is also the ultimate solution if you have impending deadlines as there is no need to rush home and take your dog for a walk, meaning office hours can stretch on longer.

Always make sure that they are toilet trained and up to date with all their vaccinations to prevent any embarrassing accidents from occurring.

What benefits has it shown?

The reasons why business owners are keen to have dogs in the workplace is that studies such as Michigan University’s have suggested that a presence of a dog in the workplace could lead to increased morale and productivity as well as lowering absenteeism rates.

This is nothing new. Dogs have long been used for their therapeutic and calming effects in places such as hospices, shelters and old people’s homes. Believe it or not, dogs are even influential in achieving justice in America where they are permitted in court to keep witnesses calm before giving evidence.

Are there are issues with doing so?

As much as we love our furry members of the family, sometimes they can get up to no good. Pets will pick targets in carpets, computers, office equipment and furniture to chew, stain or cover in fur. A pet owner will need to take responsibility if their animal destroys another employee’s personal property, so always consider behavioural difficulties.

For this reason, some landlords are not so keen on having pets around. Always get their permission before taking pets into the building and on that note, also discuss it with all of your colleagues. Believe it or not, we are not all animal lovers, and some suffer from allergies so the presence of your pet could really influence their wellbeing.

What companies have a successful pets in the workplace policy?

It has been revealed that nearly 16% of British workers have office pets, having seen the positive effects it has on large international companies. Google, for instance has a policy for welcoming four-legged friends, but sadly cats are not allowed to contribute to a day’s work. Amazon is rumoured to have around three dozen dogs around on any given day!

Pets are pretty much considered as family members, so don’t leave them behind. Instead pack up their essentials, bundle them into the car, and see what a difference it can make to both your workplace and your beloved pet’s happiness.

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