Are you looking for creative ways to encourage employee stress reduction in the office? Consider allowing pets in the office! Not only are they cute and loveable, many workplaces see increased productivity and worker wellness when friendly Fido is allowed to be present. What else can pets offer your company? Keep reading for the benefits.
5 Benefits of Pets in the Workplace
- Pets Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Countless research studies and more than 70 million Americans have demonstrated the pets’ ability to decrease human stress levels, lower their sense of anxiety, boost the immune system, increase feelings of empathy and prevent the onset of later-in-life allergies. Virginia Commonwealth University found those who work around animals also had lower levels of the hormone cortisol, which causes stress. Allowing dogs to sit in the office with their owners will decrease sick days and absenteeism since workers will feel less like they’re missing out by being away from home.
- Pets Encourage Physical Activity
Since pets need frequent exercise and bathroom breaks, their owners go outside more often, encouraging them to stand and stroll, a welcome reprieve from sitting in a desk chair. Taking breaks on the job can increase productivity; offices where walking meetings are held see more creativity and innovation, in addition to trimmer waistlines.
- Pets Increase Employee Productivity
Since pets in the office boost our moods, they in turn boost our productivity. When workers are happier and feel their needs are being met, they are shown to produce greater quality work in a shorter period of time. Having a pet-friendly policy can also aid in employee retention and acquiring top talent, since it shows you care about your team members’ needs.
- Pets Help Build Group Cohesion and Community
In large offices especially, it may be difficult for new employees to mesh with the group and get to know everyone around them; animals can help. Take Replacements, Ltd. as an example: Jeanine Falcon, vice president of human resources says, “Animals can create a great connection between co-workers. For any business, that’s a powerful tool, as well as an employee benefit, that comes at little or no cost.”
- Pets Help Workers Meet New People
Diverse workplaces with lots of different buildings and departments may have hundreds of team members; everyone may not be on a first-name basis. Having a pet in the office can trigger workplace interactions that may not take place in a traditional office environment. If an employee’s dog wanders up to a person they normally don’t work with, it creates a lower pressure scenario where they can mingle and chat about the animal.
If you’re interested in having pets in the workplace, but don’t want to jump straight into writing it into your HR policy, try wading in slowly. Start by having a pet day and see how it goes; Take Your Dog to Work Day is coming up on June 24th. For more information on reducing stress and anxiety in the office, read additional articles on our blog.