Pet Friendly Work Environments
Each year more companies are switching to a more pet friendly working environment. Most of these companies making the switch are small companies, but there are larger companies taking advantage of the benefits that go along with allowing dogs in the office. Companies such as Google, Amazon and Ben & Jerry’s have been pet friendly for years and have shown that a pet friendly environment can definitely be good for business in several different ways.
The biggest benefit of dogs in the workplace is the reduction of stress. Employees who bring their dogs with them have an overall less stressful work experience. Things such as petting a dog after a stressful meeting can greatly improve a person’s mood. A person’s stress is also reduced when they do not have to worry about their four legged friends languishing alone at home. Not having to rush home at the end of each day in order to walk Fido relieves some of that late day stress dog owners experience.
It has also been shown that in a pet friendly environment the employees tend to be more creative. Having these lovable pets frolicking at the workplace just seems to bring out this creativity in the workers.
The general happiness level of the employees also is increased under these conditions and a happy worker is a productive worker. With an increase in creativity and a decrease in stress, this is just inevitable.
A pet friendly work environment also has the benefit of reduced absenteeism. The employees don’t mind coming to work when their furry friends can tag along. Again, a lower stress, happier workplace gives the workers less reason to want to call in. In addition to fewer absences the employees are also more likely to work overtime without complaint.
Workers in a pet friendly environment tend to have better interpersonal skills. The camaraderie level is higher as the work environment is more fun and people have something to talk about: their lovable pooch.
There are of course downsides to the pet friendly work environment. First among these are coworkers with allergies. For them this could be a tortuous environment to work in each day. Another problem to a room full of dogs can be the noise level. It can be difficult to take an order from a client on the phone when Fido is barking at the dog in the next cubicle. Safety can also be an issue. Not all dogs have been socialized enough to be in a room full of strange dogs and coworkers, and predicting their behavior can be difficult.
For the most part, companies who have made the switch to a pet friendly environment have seen improvement in their employee’s performance. There are an increasing number of companies making these changes as a younger generation of office workers are throwing out the old ideas of what it means to work in an office and are striving to make their workplace more fun and less stressful.