Ever since 1999, when “Take Your Dog To Work Day” was first officially designated as the Friday after Father’s Day, having animals in the workplace has been recognized as a publicly acceptable form of comfort for offices in the United States. Widely popular companies to work for, including Google, Amazon, and Etsy, allow their employees to bring pets to work (as long as they are well-behaved) because of the mental and physical health benefits of animal companionship. Just a few of the possible benefits that office workers can get from having animals around include a better work-life balance, reduced stress levels, and increased productivity.
Adding a policy on pets in your office might give your employees what they need to boost employee morale and boost overall productivity. Having pets visit your workplace can give your employees a boost during key deadline seasons, bringing comfort, offering a needed distractions during tough days, and reducing stress hormones. There’s something extra motivating about having a puppy there to cheer you on while you’re at work. It really motivates people to get their work done, knowing they can play with their puppy as soon as they are done.
Benefits of Pets in a Workplace.
There are many benefits to allowing pets in your workplace. Research has shown that having dogs present in an office environment can offer extra social support, improve job performance, and increase good social interactions. The human-animal bond contributes to improved levels of oxytocin and dopamine, which decrease stress and increase overall contentment. Animal lovers everywhere may know this feeling already, but they may be pleasantly surprised to know how scientifically profound the effects are. If your office is in need of some help to get your employees effectively collaborating together, studies have shown that having dogs present around employees leads to a more trusting and collaborative environment.
Even when not interacting with others, there is a known therapeutic effect of simply walking a dog when trying to clear your mind. Spending time with animals can help employees take time to work out problems more effectively and reduce aggression from workplace stress. Having animals around is more than just some Millennials wanting to hang out with their dogs and cats all day. There is science to back up the benefits.
Management of Animals in a Workplace.
Managing employees while there are animals around is difficult without the help of a good system. This is where a HRIS can come in handy. What is HRIS? HRIS is a Human Resource Information System that combines HR software and information technology. This can help streamline communication in different departments and coordinate the best days to have pets around and help the entire office out with stress overload. Rather than putting up notices on desks and walls, a HRIS allows you to notify employees via email of any changes to your pet policy and alert them of days that pets are welcome on the property. You can even create a pet database for pets of your employees, so you can make sure that everyone’s pets have proof of vaccinations before they come in. That way you can enjoy spending time with them instead of worrying about administrative stuff. Enjoy the refreshing feeling of the excitement that comes with the brain chemical change when you pet an animal for comfort without the stress of wondering if you’ve cleared out all the red tape.
Of course, you might have employees who are allergic to different animals. HRIS applications come in really handy here. With a good HRIS, you will be able to see who in your office is allergic to animal fur, who will be celebrating a birthday or work anniversary, or who is in line for a raise, and plan out pet visits accordingly.
Mikkie Mills, is a freelance writer who often writes about family, home improvements and the occasional DIY project.