Having pets in the workplace isn’t such an outrageous idea. In fact, as of 2015, eight percent of workplaces in the United States allowed their employees to bring pets to work. While it doesn’t sound like a massive number, the trend of workplace pets is slowly increasing.
Some may think that bigger companies like Google, Amazon and Zappos are the only ones willing to offer this perk to their employees. It makes sense to assume that, since these are the companies that advertise their unique cultures featuring free food, relaxed dress codes, on-site workout centers and even nap pods. But more and more smaller companies are giving their employees the opportunity to bring their pets to work.
Studies show that pets in the workplace reduce stress levels. Why do you think so many colleges host events with puppies and kittens during finals week? Dogs and cats in general have proven to have a positive impact on human health, with benefits such as lower blood pressure, a stronger immune system, and better moods.
Employers also benefit from having pets in the workplace. When employees bring pets to work, they are willing to work longer hours and morale tends to be higher, which leads to better work results. People seeking jobs will gravitate towards companies that offer perks such as allowing employees to bring pets into the workplace. This means that employers can find themselves with a bigger applicant pool.
Bringing pets into the workplace is obviously not always going to work out, for example, if the animal is not well behaved or if allergies are a major issue, and it’s important to respect the needs of all employees in the office.
Right out of college, I worked at Zappos.com. About the time that I left the Zappos to move back to Rochester, the company had begun to slowly phase pets into the workplace. While I didn’t directly experience pets in the office on a large scale, I’ve been able to experience it locally at my current company. I’m lucky enough to be in the eight percent of U.S. workers that is able to bring their pet to work. In the time that I’ve been bringing my kitten to the office with me, I’ve noticed a boost in employee morale as well as an increase in my personal productivity at work. I’m happier with my pet nearby and I stay in the office later, simply because I don’t need to rush home for my pet.
Are you interested in bringing your pet to work? Consider the U.S. Humane Society’s five steps to persuade your boss to give it a shot:
- 1. Survey your coworkers
- 2. Focus on the benefits to your company
- 3. Volunteer to start a committee to establish rules and etiquette
- 4. Make sure your office is prepared
- 5. Ask for a trial run
As millennials continue to join the workforce, there are more opportunities to approach subjects such as having pets in the workplace. With benefits for both the employee and the employer, it’s a reasonable idea to consider for both parties.
And if you aren’t able to convince your boss to bring your pet to work, don’t let that stop you from enjoying the company of a furry friend. Head over to Lollypop Farm Humane Society, Scottsville Veterinary Hospital & Pet Adoptions, or Joyful Rescues Non-Profit.