Life can be stressful, and often a lot of that stress originates in the workplace; a lack of work-life balance. One way in which the working day could be improved, we believe, is allowing animals in the workplace.
For workers, animals in the workplace can be viewed as a stress-busting tool. These furry friends can change the environment from an anxious morning to a relaxed and friendly afternoon. Studies show that when most people interact with animals, a higher level of oxytocin; the stress-reducing hormone, released and levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, are reduced. This results in calm, chilled employees, ready to work with a positive mindset.
Pet owners, who are allowed to bring their furry friends into work with them, also have one less thing to worry about when balancing life with work life. If the option to bring their pet with them is there, then distracting concerns about getting back to their pet in time or worrying about them can be diminished.
For employers, this increasingly popular initiative is a great benefit to be able to offer to employees; it conveys a certain level of freedom and the kind of relaxed environment that you might find at companies such as Mars, Petcare, Google or Amazon, and indeed our own DiscoverWork office, have all introduced a pet friendly environment for their staff. Employers who are looking to improve the working environment for the workforce; this is an attractive atmosphere offer staff, both current and prospective. It builds a brand image of an employer who clearly cares about their staff’s environment and wellbeing can easily earn both respect and contented employees.
It’s not only staff who a pet-friendly workspace might impress; showing the signs of a modern, accepting and collaborative office, clients and customers or even partners will be impacted by the positive environment upon visiting the office.
Not all staff might like animals, this is something to consider if you are bringing this initiative into an already established team. Or, more seriously, you might encounter allergies to animals brought into the workspace, which will obviously be an issue that needs to be assessed beforehand.
Pets can be cute, but they can also be distracting. If animals become particularly distracting to the workforce, the positive effects could be outweighed by the negative.
These cons require some thought and planning from a management perspective; a pet-free area would give employees a chance to benefit from the animals but also avoid them when required. Alternatively, this pet-friendly workspace could be introduced only on certain days.
What’s your take on animals in the office, do you think that the potential problems would outweigh the benefits or would you love to work in an office which promoted this environment?