‘Bring your pet to work day’ is something for your employees to look forward to—but what if they could bring their pet to work every day? After all, who doesn’t want to spend all day with their little fluffy friend? Being able to bring your pet to work is now a sought-after perk that can help you hire and retain top talent, but these are not the only reasons why you should consider making every day a ‘bring your pet to work day’. Here are 7 reasons to make every day ‘bring your pet to work day’ (as well as some potential drawbacks to pets at work and how HR management software like Pypa HR can help you solve them):
Let’s look at the most compelling reasons why your employees should be able to bring their pets to work, and how pets in the office can benefit both you and your employees:
Pet ownership has been proven to reduce stress and provide physical health benefits like lower blood pressure and better heart health (meaning less sick days). Stress-relieving benefits of pets include:
What pet is the best for reducing stress? Apparently, cats provide better stress relief despite being considered generally more annoying in the workplace.
A study showed that HR professionals think that bringing pets to work increases productivity by 81%. This is partially because, apart from the stress-relieving benefits mentioned above, the exercise provided by pets increases creativity.
Bringing pets to work also increases attendance as owners don’t have to stay home to look after sick pets. Having their pet with them allows pet owners to stay at work longer and attend after-office events because they don’t immediately have to rush home to their pet. (This is especially an issue with owners of “pandemic pets”, who often have separation anxiety).
Dogs, and possibly other pets in an office environment, need a lot of exercise and at least one daily walk, which means that your employees are going to be spending some of their break time doing exercise. This is great for stress relief and your employees’ health in general. Also, as we mentioned above, exercise increases creativity which increases productivity.
Pets are great for morale and office bonding. This is especially important in the modern workplace as a lot of work and communication goes on digitally, meaning there are less organic opportunities for socializing.
The mere sight of their favourite pet can help cheer up an unhappy employee. Pets increase employee bonding and engagement as people who might not usually encounter each other (or even get on) can bond over their pets, creating a better company culture and stronger teams.
Bringing pets to work can save your employees money and is very little extra cost (if any) to you. Employees can save money by not paying for services like doggy-day care or dog-walkers which are necessary when leaving an animal for an entire eight hour workday.
You probably won’t have to shell out anything, unless it’s for pet-proofing the office or extra insurance. Any costs you do incur in making your workplace pet-friendly are sure to be offset by increased productivity.
Allowing pets at work decreases turnover. Pets at work is a must-have perk for some people, meaning they will be less likely to leave your company if you allow pets. Nor will you lose as many employees to stress and burnout-related turnover, if you have the stress-relieving powers of pets on your side.
As well as decreasing turnover, allowing pets at work attracts top talent. Many workers, especially Millennials, consider pet friendly offices a benefit on par with more traditional perks like paid leave and will be very keen to work for you, if you allow pets in the office.
Letting employees bring their pets into work gives you a strong employer brand (meaning that you may be approached by top talent instead of vice versa). This makes having a pet-friendly office a great thing to advertise when hiring. And it’s not just your employer brand that will benefit—a pet-friendly workplace is good for your brand in general, giving you a fun brand persona.
We think the benefits of bringing pets to work outweigh the negatives. Still, it’s important to think about the potential issues caused by pets in the workplace and how we can solve them (clue: HR software helps):
Unfortunately, there will always be people at your office who are either allergic to certain animals or are afraid of them. However, this is easy to get around by:
Your office as it is may not be safe for pets. Potential hazards include bags and handbags, trash, and wires which pets can chew on, all of which need to be out of the way of animals. Pet-proofing the office is unlikely to be a big expense; still, it’s something you need to consider before allowing pets at work.
When implementing a pets at work policy, it’s necessary to realize that not all pets are suitable for the office. Some pets’ personalities just aren’t right for the workplace—either they are not very social (extremely important in an office environment), or too aggressive or hyper. Some employees may own exotic pets like snakes, which are unsuitable for the office for obvious reasons. Unfortunately, in these cases, you may have to put your foot down and ban certain pets from the workplace.
While animals are adorable, they can also be distracting. Potential distractions could include dogs barking, whining and time off for walkies and play. (Some of these issues can be solved by bringing pet beds and toys to the office). More serious disturbances like pets going to the bathroom in the office or dog fights might also occur. Pet related issues can also be dealt with professionally using a HR software like Pypa HR (which has a moderation section).
The worst thing that can happen in a pet-friendly workplace is a lawsuit from a dog bite. (Though this shouldn’t happen if you implement proper rules on pets at work). Because lawsuits can be costly, this is definitely something that’s worth discussing with your lawyer.
Another potentially pricey issue is insurance claims from any pet-related property damage, so make sure your insurance covers this or your employees are liable for any damage their pets cause.
A pet-friendly workplace is rewarding for all sorts of reasons—from lowering stress to facilitating employee bonding, but it comes with its HR challenges. Using Pypa HR is a great way to manage the joys and tribulations of pets at work, showing us once again that Pypa HR is a complete human resources solution. Register your interest in Pypa HR today to learn about all the perks this new software offers!
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