Pet Friendly Workplace Trend is Growing
Guest Writer: Mila Sanchez
I won’t have to argue with anyone reading this that pets are awesome and bring so much love and joy into our lives. Being able to stay home with them all the time is the dream for many. Unfortunately, that is not possible for those of us who have bills to pay. We have to go to work, and our furry companions have to stay home alone during that time. It would be great if we could take them to work with us. It sounds like a pipe dream, but surprisingly, the pet friendly workplace trend is growing in recent years.
Companies trying to be more appealing to potential employees are looking at different leadership strategies to bring in, motivate, and retain employees. One of those strategies focuses on showing your employees that they matter, and that what they care about matters. For many, that is their pets. This is especially true for millennials, a generation notoriously delaying getting married and having children (or choosing not to have them at all) and are instead putting their parental energies into their “fur babies.”
According to an article by CNBC, more firms are allowing pets because of animal loving millennials entering the workforce. The article states:
“Employers are starting to realize that having a millennial bring a pet to work, you wind up getting a more focused employee, you get someone more comfortable at the office and a person willing to work longer hours.”
It’s certainly true that if you aren’t worried about your pet being home alone, you are certainly more focused and don’t have to stress as much about working too many hours. This can help create a better work life balance for employees, especially when an important part of their life is their pet.
Along with just having a more focused employee, businesses can look forward to just happier employees in general! Studies show that being able to bring your pets to work can make you feel better all day! When someone can feel good all day at work, they can improve their overall well-being. This can even benefit employees who don’t have pets of their own for life situation reasons, but enjoy animals. They can get a daily dose of a dog or cat, boosting their mood during the day.
Though happy and productive employees seem reason enough to immediately make most companies allow employees to bring their pets to work, there are also a lot of problems they have to consider. One of major problems is allergies. Some poor souls have some pretty severe allergies to animals (including myself to cats…so sad), and while some put up with it for the sake of furry cuddles, others can’t medically tolerate it. Another problem is people bringing pets that aren’t socially up for it. This includes dogs that are aggressive and reactive with other dogs and animals or humans other than their owner. This can quickly lead to a dangerous situation and a giant lawsuit for the company and the pet owner.
While allergies and behavior issues are serious ones to consider, there are definitely ways to work around them. Offices could create pet free zones for people who have allergies or don’t like animals. For behavior issues, companies could require employees who wish to bring their pets to have insurance on their pet, and to have passed basic obedience training such as the AKC Canine Good Citizen training.
For businesses that can’t allow pets in their facilities, there are still ways for them to be pet friendly! Some companies are offering pet benefits such as pet health insurance and discounts on doggy day care. These are wonderful options for companies to show that even though pets on the premises can’t happen, they still care about their employees and their pets.
The pet-friendly workplace trend is sure to be one that will continue to grow as businesses focus more on what is important to their employees. When they can find a way to accommodate their employees and their pets, whether inside the office or benefits such as doggy daycare, it is sure to boost employee morale and company culture.
Guest Writer: Mila Sanchez is a writer and recent college graduate with a BA in Linguistics. Her ambitions in life include traveling the world, studying languages, and taking pictures of her dog, Baymax. See tons of pictures of Baymax on her Instagram: @milaneechan
Other Articles by Mila Sanchez:
- Therapy Dogs Have Many Uses: Animal Assisted Therapy
- Working German Shepherd Dogs: Not Just a Pretty Face
- 4 Different Ways to Exercise Your Dog
A QUESTION FOR YOU: Are you able to bring your pet to work with you? How has it improved your work environment?
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