Bringing Your Pets To Work

Dogs at the workplace
Should You Bring Your Pet To Work?

It’s only natural for pet owners to want to spend every breathing second with their furry friend. In fact, many pet owners consider their dogs as part of the family; they go out together several times a day for strolls, they watch their favorite television shows together, and they even pose in family portraits. In recent events, select businesses have begun a policy for pet-work environments. This allows employees to bring their pets to work. Although many people enjoy the extra company, there are always some drawbacks. Should your business allow pets in the workplace?

The Disadvantages

Not Everyone Loves Dogs

For personal reasons, some individuals may fear dogs due to past experiences or traumas. Others simply don’t like pets which can potentially create a negative work environment. Depending on the size of your office, this can go either way. If your office is vast with several sections closed off, you can allow your pets to roam in specified areas, therefore avoiding those who may not appreciate their company as much, while avoiding negative interactions. If your office is small, it might be better to leave your furry friend at home.

They May Cause Distractions

Open trash cans, accidents and wires laying on the ground can become frustrating distractions for employees. When pets are introduced to a new space, they have the chance of acting out by barking, whimpering or even begging for food. In that case, there’s a significant chance that the pet can impair employee performance in a fast-paced environment. If you decide to bring your dog to work, be prepared to take responsibility and clean up after him or her while also designating “safe” areas where they can roam about. It’s also important to avoid bringing dogs to meetings with important clients. It’s impossible to know beforehand how a dog will react to new people, it could be uncomfortable or even detrimental if a dog barks, growls or tries to bite the new visitor.

Pet Allergies

It’s quite common for individuals to suffer from pet allergies, therefore, it’s imperative to receive confirmation that none of your coworkers have such allergies. If any of them do have allergies to pet dander, the employee(s) are at risk for rhinitis or asthma from frequent exposure. If the workplace is broad, be sure to define pet-free zones to ensure the safety and well-being of your coworkers.

Multiple Pets Are A Big No

Unless you currently have two well-behaved dogs that seamlessly get along, that shouldn’t be an issue. In the case that two or more coworkers plan on bringing their dogs on the same day, issues may arise that will inevitably distract surrounding coworkers. The last thing any company with a pet-policy wants is a dogfight, continuous barking or growling. If several of your employees would like to bring their pet to work, schedule specific days for each person in order to avoid overlapping.

The Advantages

Positive Environment

Many people, even including those who may have had a fear of dogs, may benefit from being exposed to a well-behaved pet. Not only do dogs improve morale and increase employee satisfaction, they also improve the quality of work. It’s quite simple, happy people do better work, and what better way is there to create a positive environment than with an unconditionally loving, furry pup.

Destressing Component

In a 2012 study by the International Journal of Workplace Health Management, they discovered that the presence of dogs in the workplace significantly decreases hormonal stress levels. Introducing pets in the office helps employees feel more relaxed and comfortable, thus, reducing their normal level of stress.

Decreasing Employee Turnover

Businesses invest a significant amount of time, money and resources training new employees that end up quitting for another job opportunity. Once potential employees discover your business is pet-friendly, the job opportunity at hand will present an even more attractive feature for potential employees that are coincidentally pet owners or pet lovers.

Employee Performance

While at work, employees spend a good portion of their day worrying about how their furry friend is doing at home alone. They worry about if their pet needs to go for a walk, or needs food and water, and most of all, how lonely their pet must feel. These worries tend to drive employees to work hastily in order to get home quicker and tend to their beloved pet. When pets are allowed in the office, these worries subside and then employees are able to perform at full capacity.

Another Job Perk

Many prospective employees are attracted to jobs offering good salaries, medical insurance plans, and pensions. Once they’re informed that the office allows pets, a bonus feature is added. In a subtle way, businesses that allow pets is a gentle way of demonstrating how much they really care about the well-being and happiness of their employees. Implementing a pet-friendly policy will definitely improve your company’s image.

Implementing a pet-friendly policy all depends on the workplace and the employees. If the building is dog-friendly, there’s no harm in giving it a try. Always be sure to receive confirmation from all coworkers before implementing any pet integration. In the end, pets in the workplace can be a great way to reduce stress, improve the work atmosphere, increase employee performance, decrease employee turnover and improve your company’s image.

 

Links: Bringing Your Dog To Work, Dogs Make Perfect Business Sense, Dogs In The Workplace, Pet Policy

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