While the idea of having our pets in the workplace may seem like a great idea, let’s weigh the pros and cons.
Most people consider pets as some of the most precious members of their family! With offices becoming much more stressful, employees are pushing to be allowed to bring their pets to work as they offer emotional support. Although allowing pets in the workplace may appear to offer many benefits, sometimes ensuring the happiness of your coworkers means leaving your pet at home. Keep on reading for an in-depth look at the pros and cons of having pets at work.
Good for Health and Wellness
Prominent companies, like Amazon, Google and Ben & Jerry’s, allow employees to bring their pets to work. Researchers have revealed that pets serve as a source of social support, and they may boost employee performance by decreasing anxiety. Numerous studies show that pets help calm our bodies and minds, decrease stress, lower blood pressure, and even make employees more creative. In addition, studies reveal noticeable differences in the stress levels and health of employees who bring their pets to work. Around 30% of the employees are happier and more productive.
Positive Company Culture
Pets may even turn around the entire company culture as they improve interactions among staffers. Pets bridged the gap between people who don’t normally talk to one another. Employees become more engaged with one another. As they work to both improve communication and lifestyles, pets can be extremely valuable additions to your business. Employees work long hours and long days, so encouraging them to bring their pets may pay off in the long-run.
- Comic relief
- Work/life balance
- Mental breaks
- Better communication
Not So Much Wellness
ACHOOO – Bad for Health
While bring your pet to work may seem to be the perfect solution for pet owners, coworkers who are disinterested in pets may suffer. It’s important to take a moment to consider their perspective. For example, across America, between 15% to 30% of the population suffers from a pet allergy. Whether this involves rashes, breathlessness, or severe reactions, allergies are extremely common and allowing pets at work may unnecessarily put individuals at risk.
Not Everyone Likes Animals
Similarly, not everyone likes animals. Many people may be genuinely afraid of animals which will heighten their stress. As a result, bringing a pet to a workplace will not serve as a calming presence but rather act as a constant threat to them. While their well-being and safety may never be at risk, pets may increase their anxiety and stress levels, thereby defeating the purpose of allowing them in the first place.
Stressed Out Pooch
Likewise, offices may not be the safest places for pets as unforeseen situations may cause calm-pets to act aggressively. You cannot account for everything in an office, which is already a stressful-environment for pets, and they may cause personal injuries to your employees. Similarly, your business may not even be conducive to allowing access for pets. They may cause unnecessary distractions and limit the productivity of your employees.
Bad for Business
Some landlords simply do not allow pets on-premises. Period.
And let’s face it even the sweetest pup can get annoying and can (and probably will) cause distractions galore. Pets need to be fed, walked, and watered throughout the day. In addition, if a mistake is made, yuck. Dog feces can attract and cultivate bacteria, viruses, and parasites.
Many businesses are not conducive to having pets present. Food businesses, pharmaceutical companies, medical facilities, and laboratories are all areas where having pets present pose a genuine contamination hazard.
While the law requires businesses to allow service animals, pets in the workplace may open the doors to a legal nightmare. Employers need to be aware of lawsuit threats due to employee injuries caused by pets, allergy suffers sharing work areas with pets, and injuries of patrons caused by pets.
Weighing the Pros and Cons of having Pets at Work
Overall, there are several factors to consider before allowing pets into the workplace. Take time to consider whether your business is suited for pets. Weigh the pros and cons, and then decide whether this is right for you! Pets can be amazing additions to the office, but not every office.
Looking to make your business a better place to work? Consider an inclusion based wellness program.