If you are part of a large number of Canadians who own a pet, then you likely go through a similar routine every morning: wake up, get ready for work, eat breakfast, and then head out the door. In most cases, your pet will see you off and then wait around the house all day for you to return. However, how different would your morning look if you had the ability to bring your pet to work with you every day? Many employers and companies, including our Kelowna marketing agency, have begun to take notice of just how beneficial having pets in the workplace can be for their employees’ overall mental health and have started extending an invitation for people to bring their pets to work with them.
Studies have shown that employees who bring their pets into the office with them are often more productive and engaged during work hours, and they are happier and less stressed throughout the day. We’ve already seen the difference first-hand of having pets come into our marketing agency. With there being so many benefits to offering a pet-friendly workplace, we’ve taken the time to break down the pros (and some of the cons) of bringing your pet to work with you.
Pets in Our Kelowna Marketing Agency: How They Can and Have Reduced Stress and Anxiety
One of the biggest draws to creating a pet-friendly work environment is the fact that it can help to reduce both stress and anxiety, as well as improve your mood and lower blood pressure. One article by Culture Amp noted that one study showed an 11% drop in stress levels. Most pet owners love being around their pets, so they love the idea of being able to have their furry best friend with them all day long.
While the number of pet-friendly workplaces in Canada is unknown, there are lots of employers and companies that have already taken the initiative and have opened up their offices to both employees and their pets (our marketing agency in Kelowna is a great example). Some buildings even offer pet-friendly courtyards that will give your pooch space to run and play.
Boost Office Morale
The fact that pets help to reduce anxiety and stress only adds to the fact that having pets welcome in the workplace will also help boost office morale. It’s no surprise that there are likely people in your office who don’t get along, but pets can be a great bridge to help bring people together and improve relationships. Adding pets to the workplace can also help boost attendance, not only for pet owners themselves but even with non-pet owners.
Pet owners can often experience stress surrounding having to leave their pet at home, especially if their pet is sick or has anxiety. Having the ability to bring them with you to work means that more employees will be inclined to come into the office, as they’ll still be able to keep a close eye on their pets. Having a pet-friendly workplace can also be an incentive for non-pet owners because no one can resist wanting some dog cuddles to start off their workday!
Host Pet-Specific Team Building Events
If having pets in the workplace every day isn’t a feasible option, you could always pitch having one day a week that can be allotted a ‘Bring Your Pet to Work’ day. Or if allowing pets in the office isn’t an option at all, you could always host different team-building events that are centred around pets. If your office has a monthly team lunch that brings everyone together, consider taking it outside and hosting a team picnic in a park that will allow employees to bring their pets along to enjoy the outdoors. Not only will this give everyone a chance to get out of the office, but they will also be able to get some fresh air and interact with one another in a more relaxed, non-work environment which can help bolster relationships and boost productivity.
While having pets in the office can sometimes be seen as distracting and unproductive, it is actually quite the opposite. A pet-friendly work environment will not only boost your employees’ moods, but can also help promote creativity and teamwork amongst your team members. A few other ways you can incorporate pets into the workplace include:
- Hosting a pet photo contest with small prizes
- Organize a volunteer afternoon with an animal-focused charity
- Put together a monthly after-hours happy hour at the office where pets are welcome
Dealing with Allergies
While allowing pets in the workplace can be great for relieving stress and boosting productivity amongst your employees, it is important to remember that you will likely have a few employees who aren’t as keen on having pets around, for several different reasons. One of the primary reasons you will likely encounter is simply allergies to dogs or cats. As much as we’d love everyone to be animal lovers, some employees might be uncomfortable with having pets around as it may trigger their allergies.
It’s important to keep these employees in mind and consult with them when determining whether allowing pets into the workplace is a good idea or if it will be detrimental to their health.
Just because someone might have allergies doesn’t mean that you can never have pets around. Rather than having the entire office be pet-friendly, you can designate specific parts of the office to be pet-free, so employees who have allergies have a space where they can comfortably work. Alternatively, you can request that pets remain with their owners at their owner’s desks to avoid having them roam freely around the building and potentially trigger the allergies of those around them.
Handling Pet-Caused Damages
Another factor to take into consideration when determining whether to make your office a pet-friendly environment is that pets can cause damage. As cute as they are, pets are notorious for getting into things they shouldn’t. From chewed chair legs to rummaging through the garbage, to accidental ‘accidents’ on the carpet, it’s important to remember that pet-related damage can occur. Before getting too excited about making your office pet-friendly, you should take some time to layout guidelines surrounding potential damage and who will take responsibility for them.
Will the office cover any repairs or replacements or will that be the responsibility of the pet owner to cover? Make sure you discuss any decisions you make with your team to ensure that everyone is on the same page and agrees before implementing any rules and moving forward.
Whether you’re making your office pet-friendly every day or are opting to make certain days of the week or month ‘Bring Your Pet to Work’ days, there can be great benefits to having a few furry friends running around the office. Just make sure it’s safe for everyone on your team so everyone can enjoy the perks that pets in the workplace provide!