A not-so-surprising benefit of having pets in the workplace is that pets tend to make a lot of people happy and have proven repeatedly to be stress relievers in a wide breadth of situations ranging from wartime family separation to hospital-procedure recoveries.
Improved employee mental health is the most important benefit of pets in the workplace, but the trickle-down effects of the general “good vibes” of having well-behaved companions in the workplace are aplenty, and they have a positive stretch far beyond the employees who are lucky enough to work in a place where their furry friends are welcomed.
Here are 4 more proven benefits of having a pet-friendly workplace:
A Healthier Workforce (and Healthier Pets!)
There are countless instances of mutually beneficial relationships between pets and their humans (masters, owners, etc.), and ultimately that’s kind of the point of having a pet, right? When pets are left at home all day, owners need to either hire a dog walker (or cat-sitter, goat-sitter, etc.), or work within strict time confines to allow them to get home enough to let their pets out.
When pets are allowed in the workplace, owners have to take them out. Pretty simple, but it also promotes healthier employees as a good mid-day walk coupled with a mental break from work is good for all parties involved (including employers). Pets get more physical activity, as do owners, and the stress of whether or not a given pet is getting enough exercise goes out the door when the employee does with his or her pet in tow.
If an employer is the reason pets are a no-go, fear not: the reduced stress of having pets in the workplace leads to greater productivity in most cases. If the “no pets” rules stem from a different entity, such as a landlord, there are also some measures you or your employer can take to allow at least some pets in the workplace, especially when armed with the fact that the pets will, indeed, increase your company’s productivity.
Some laws vary from state to state, but at the federal level, the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 made it legal for pet owners whose animals were legally deemed “Emotional Support Animals” or “Service Animals” to be allowed where regular pets are prohibited.
There are many caveats for allowing assistance animals in the workplace, but given the proven productivity increases, if your employer would allow a service animal, it’s definitely worth looking in to registering your pet as such.
A Welcoming Feel
Even if your office is in a situation where only certain animals are allowed (service animals, the boss’s dog, etc.), the overall positive stigma of having some smiling furballs roaming around also increases employee retention, even if those employees may not be able to have their own animals present.
It’s also been proven beneficial during the hiring process. Pets in the workplace is still a new trend to most, and to dog-loving prospects, an office that allows pets will certainly seem more appealing than one that does not!
Money in Your Pocket
In addition to increased productivity (and thus, company profit), having a pet in the workplace can really help keep money in an owner’s wallet as well. Pet sitting costs vary greatly depending on the services offered, but even a baseline, once-per-day, hour-long walk will cost a pet owner about $20, totaling $100 per week for a 9-5er.
Having a boss that allows Scruffy in the office will keep money in your pocket, and employees who save money due to beneficial work environments always work harder for their employer.
Another way owners save by working in a pet-friendly environment is on training classes. Being in a busy office is a fantastic way for pets to socialize. Obviously there needs to be a behavioral threshold met before bringing a pet into a new environment, but if a pet is well-behaved and just otherwise unexposed to society for whatever reason, the office will make that pet more social without the cost of training!
Happy pets, happy employees, and more productivity caused by the happiness make pets in the workplace a trend with upside at almost every talking point. Legalities can certainlybe deterrents, but even these are able to be worked around.
If pets are not yet allowed in your workplace, informing an employer of the near-countless benefits of having them is a great start.