Most American households have at least one pet. There are myriad reasons for having a pet, not the least of which being that they offer significant health benefits to people. But have you ever considered the possible benefits of bringing pets into the workplace? Here are three reasons why you may want to bring it up to your boss at the next office meeting.
Dogs and cats are frequently recognized as great stress-relievers. Look into the eyes of a pet and suddenly your worries and deadlines seem to melt away. In fact, according to a 2012 research study published in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management, on-the-job stress levels fell among a group of Greensboro, N.C., employees when they had their dogs by their side. Conversely, stress levels grew for their co-workers who either left their animals at home or who had no pet at all.
Few of us would willingly work longer days. But put a pet in the office and suddenly you have a reason to stick around and finish that TPS report. According to a 2008 survey by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association of 50 small and large companies, companies that allow pets in the workplace not only have employees who are more willing to work longer hours, but also a lower rate of employee absenteeism.
Let's face it, everyone has a co-worker that they just can't stand. But what if that person had a cute Labrador Retriever or Coupari with them in their cubicle? You'd be over there in a flash just like everyone else in the office. Suddenly you are all having conversations that strengthen work relationships beyond what any cheesy team-building exercise might do. Mission accomplished, dogs and cats.
Despite all the potential benefits of bringing your pet to work, there are some important things to consider. For instance, you should always plan ahead and check with your co-workers and supervisor to make sure that bringing Fluffy into work won't go against office policy and that no one has serious pet allergy issues. Also, remember your pet's health and safety. Is he or she up to date on vaccines? Can you bring enough food and water to last him or her the entire day? Can you pet-proof your workspace? Pets are wonderful to have around, but only if the environment is appropriate.