Benefits of Pets in the Workplace

Written by Lisa Michalik, RVT

How awesome is that?! Did you know there are many GREAT reasons why this is a good thing? Here’s why:

  • Reducing stress —  employees report lower levels of stress with pets in the workplace. Cats slightly edge out dogs in the stress-relief department (sorry, dog-lovers), but both canine and feline contributed to a less stressful work environment. Of course, this tracks with existing research that has shown the positive effect that pets can have on cardiovascular health, autonomic stress responses (The American Humane Association reports that dogs are proven to have a therapeutic influence, lowering cortisol levels in the body) and blood pressure
  • Forcing breaks — What better way to force yourself to take a break than having Fido looking pitifully at you with those “I need to go” eyes? It forces us to get up and move our bodies. Studies have shown the value of taking frequent, short breaks as a way of increasing productivity, and pets make us do just that.
  • Making the environment friendlier — The same instinct that leads you to spontaneously break out into puppy-talk around your pooch may lead you to be more amicable to your colleagues and your customers. In pet-friendly workplaces employees reported feeling friendlier to one another and finding that customers had a more positive impression of the company. Let’s face it almost everyone has a co-worker that they just don’t seem to mesh well with. But what if that person had a cute Labradoodle or fluffy kitten with them in their cubicle? Hey, you share a common interest! You and the other co-workers would be over there in a flash!. Suddenly you are all having conversations that strengthen work relationships.
  • Better attendance –  Companies that allow pets in the workplace not only have employees who are more willing to work longer hours (less pressure to be home by a certain time to walk and feed Fido for example) but also a lower rate of employee absenteeism.