Here's an interesting fact for you: according to the Society for Human Resource Management, 7% of employers in America allow pet parents to bring their four-legged companions into work, up from 5% five years ago. Whether or not you're permitted to bring your furry friend into the office will usually depend upon the environment in which you work, and the company guidelines. However, studies have proven that pets can make a world of difference. Indeed, bringing your pet to work can strengthen your work-life balance, reduce stress, increase productivity, and perhaps most importantly, raise morale. Colleagues are encouraged to interact with one another more when pets are involved. Believe it or not, pets in the workplace can help us to work better as a team.
Lisa Conklin, PR Manager of North Carolina-based firm Replacements, and a loving horse parent, believes that the benefits of allowing pets into the workplace far outweigh the issues they cause. During the period that pets have been allowed at Replacements, which sells fine dinnerware, no breakages have been attributed to any members of the four-legged workforce.
She told National Public Radio that employees loved bringing their furry companions with them, and that they embraced having their colleagues' pets around too. "It's oftentimes very emotional, because sometimes you see someone come in with a puppy and you watch that dog through its life … it's amazing to see that lifespan of that dog here at work," said Conklin.
Virginia Commonwealth University Professor Randolph Barker conducted a survey in which workers' stress-levels were tested. Those who were allowed to bring a pet had far lower levels of cortisol, which decreased during the day, than those who weren't permitted.
What must you consider if your workplace decides to join the 7%? Firstly, consider the impact that your workplace will have on your pet. Will they be overwhelmed by the number of people they encounter? Are they nervous by nature, or territorial? Most workplaces will operate a pet policy on a discretionary basis, which will demand that your four-legged friend behaves himself. Allergies, the phobias of colleagues, and practicalities should also be discussed and considered. Having a pet at work with you can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience, but it's essential to ensure that your actions aren't to the detriment of anyone else within the office.
Is Fido an office-friendly dog? Read this LovePets article to find out if your pet is ready to be in the workplace.