Pets In the Workplace: Good or Bad?

February 2, 2017 at 9:00 AM by Nikki Wardle

Pets in the workplace

Pets can do wonders for your physical and mental well-being. This won’t surprise a lot of people—you probably wouldn’t be reading this blog if you didn’t have at least some inkling of it. Research supports this idea too: According to a recent study by the United States Humane Society, 79.7 million households have a pet.

Open Door Pet Policy?

When so many people have pets at home, it makes sense that businesses are weighing the idea of bringing pets into the workplace. Having a pet at work may have started as a novelty among dot-com companies, but recently, more and more organizations are exploring the potential benefits of this practice.

Benefits of Pets at Work

Employees here at Intermountain Pet Hospital bring their dogs in for a visit. It’s always fun to see all the different personalities each dog has.

With so much to do everyday at both our locations, it can get pretty stressful. When people see a smile, a pair of bright eyes and a wagging tail, though, that stress just seems to dissipate. They get reenergized and feel better about their work. In turn, they get more stuff done.

Here’s the point: We at IPH know the benefits of having pets at work because we experience it ourselves. Those benefits include:

Improved Morale

Who doesn’t like having a buddy stop by your job and wish you a good day? Having a furry friend around gives you a dose of “pet therapy” (also known as a reduced blood pressure): It helps you reset and refresh your brain.

Better Office Relations

You probably have a person or two in your workplace who just keeps to himself/herself. They don’t seem like bad people, just maybe a little shy or on the quiet side.

When you have a pet in the office, you can get the chance to know these people—and your other coworkers—better. Research has found that pets stimulate interaction among employees. Not only that, they help lower absenteeism and encourage people to work for longer.

Higher Productivity

You might think that having a cute little fur ball roaming around would distract people. Actually, the opposite tends to be true: Studies have found that having a pet in the office increases productivity. Again, that’s because they help relieve stress, which makes it easier for people to work.

Are Pets Right for Your Office?

Having pets in your office isn’t always a good idea, though. If you don’t have time to take them out for potty breaks or a stroll around the block, they could create more problems than they solve. People won’t stay productive with a dog gnawing on their shoes or nipping at their heels either.

Ultimately, you need to look at two things when you’re thinking about bringing a pet to the office: Your office and your pet. If they’re friendly and well-behaved, pets can relieve tension in your office and help you get more done.

Topics: Pet Care

Nikki Wardle

Written by Nikki Wardle

Nikki has been writing for Intermountain Pet Hospital since 2014.

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