Reasons to have a workplace pet
If anyone’s workplace is like mine, it’s stressful. CAN I SAY STRESS?? Yes, I said it. Stress!
Do this, do that! I need that yesterday, do it now!
So, what are companies doing to help employees reduce stress and actually love going to work? They are getting pets for the office. Yes, I said it – pets- a fluffy kitten or a lazy dog. See, you have a smile on your face already.
That’s why companies are choosing this route rather than providing a cold Budweiser at lunchtime.
WHO HAS MADE THE SWITCH?
Even though psychologists recommend this sort of therapy to stressful work environments, only 8% of US companies have made the switch. They include:
Ben & Jerry Headquarters
BENEFITS OF GIVING BELLY RUBS
Not only does cuddles and belly rubs during the workday reduce stress, it’s also been linked to improved productivity and to building positive office morale, according to the USC Applied Psychology Dept. of the University of Southern California.
The trend began years ago when employees began spending more time at work than home, when computers and the pressures of “time is of the essence” mentality began. As people, we have turned into a bunch of uptight, ulcer brewing machines with no way of releasing the stress while working.
By having a pet at work, it creates a sense of unity between employees. Like, “we are all in this together” and “we are all the mommies and daddies of Spot.”
According to Pets Work at Work, these are the benefits of having a pet at the workplace:
- Having a pet reduces blood pressure and lowers the risk of heart disease and high cholesterol. (Friedman et al 2010)
- Numerous studies have suggested dog walking is a great way to increase physical activity and may help reduce rates of obesity. (Timperio et al 2008)
- 94% of heart patients with pets survive serious heart attacks, compared to only 72% without pets. (Friedman et al 2010)
- Pet owners tend to visit doctors less often and spend less money on medication. (Heady et al 2007)
- The presence of dogs increases the number and length of people’s conversations with others in the community. (Jenkinson et al 2010)
- Pet owners are significantly more likely to form friendships in their neighborhood than non-pet owners. (Wood et al 2015)
WHERE TO FIND THE PERFECT PET
To find the type of pet that is best be suited for your business or company, a meeting should be help to discuss the wants and needs of the employees. Cat or dog? Maybe a talking parrot? Then after the decision is made, the search begins.
But, finding the perfect pet is not always as easy as it sounds. But, for starters, visit a local shelter on a daily or weekly basis to until the perfect pet is found. It’s the perfect place to help a rescue- especially if the local shelter is a kill-shelter.
DEVELOPING A PET POLICY AT WORK
The most important thing about having an office pet is coming to an understanding as a whole business as to the care and maintenance of the animal. Besides deciding where to keep the food dish or bed, there are other needs, for instance, who will take the animal to the vet. Will it go home with someone during weekend and holidays. Will the cost of caring for the pet be a collective effort of the business alone. There are many things to think about and consider.
Here is a pet policy worksheet to help with these considerations.
After choosing your workplace pet, post photos here to share with everyone.