Pet-friendly offices are a growing trend and not as ‘out there’ as one might
imagine. As all owners know, pets are great morale boosters, reducing stress
levels and making their human companions feel more contented. Offices have long
had aquariums of tropical fish, clearly understanding how therapeutic it is to
watch these creatures.
Benefits for employees (and their pets) are obvious. Dog owners, in particular,
can find it very difficult to arrange for their dogs to be exercised regularly
while they are away at work for long hours – dogs also need companionship.
Being able to take your dog to work means the opportunity to fit a long walk into
your lunch hour, ensuring you get out into the fresh air and take some exercise
instead of eating lunch at your desk – a definite health benefit. Having a dog
to stroke while waiting on hold or simply brainstorming your next project can
be a great outlet for stress and may well make you more productive.
For many people, however, this may still seem like a pipe dream - after all,
what could possibly persuade your boss that you need to bring your Great Dane
to work? Interestingly, there are definite benefits for employers also. Happy
workers are more productive workers and offering a pet-friendly office is a
perk, just like offering telecommuting or a gym membership; the more perks a
company offers, the more attractive it is to new talent. Allowing pets in the
workplace also results in lower levels of absenteeism while having a
pet-friendly work environment creates a relaxed, informal atmosphere for all
employees, not just the pet owners.
The benefits of a friendly pooch welcoming customers should not be overlooked
either. Some stores and offices find that having the office dog around actually
encourages customers, many of whom are delighted that they can bring their own
dog shopping, or to get their computer fixed or their artwork framed.
Sadly, not everyone loves animals; some are allergic or even phobic. Clearly
pet-friendly working environments must consider these workers also. Companies
wishing to be pet friendly should have guidelines regarding cleaning up after
animals and how much freedom pets should have within the workplace. Some
companies insist that dogs be leashed unless in offices with closed doors or
behind safety gates. In order for you and your dog to be happy at work, it
should go without saying that your dog must be calm, sociable and well trained.
Obviously, some workplaces will lend themselves to being pet-friendly more
readily than others. A smaller office may be more likely to encourage pets than
a large, impersonal corporate setting. That said both Google and Amazon are
listed among the thousands of pet-friendly workplaces in the United States!
InSite Systems’ mascot, a golden retriever named Maple, frequently accompanies
her owner to work – she provides an excellent brainstorming partner!
Janet Taylor writes for InSite Systems, a leader in surveys systems and a
pioneer of .
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