It’s official — having a pet around the office is good for you.
Bringing your pets to work not only benefits you and your furry (or non-furry) friend but also your fellow teammates and employer. Pets can add to the sense of workplace community, act as a conversation starter, and provide comedic relief throughout the workday.
“When weighing job offers, more than 50% of dog owners considered “pet perks” important, with one in five rating it critical. That represents 20.5% of all Canadians, given 41% of Canadian households have dogs.” -‘How important are pet perks at work?’ Benefits Canada
It may not be surprising that live animals are a part of life at many new startups, but this aspect of tech workplace culture is influencing larger trends in business. Amazon, Salesforce, and Ticketmaster are all famously dog-friendly, and Google, which has named itself “a dog company” in its code of conduct, supplies badges for doggos to wear while “on shift”. At Ruckify and The Better Software Company — our fur balls have become full-fledged employees acting as Brand Ambassadors for both companies and their partners.
Improving health and wellness
There are dozens of studies that illustrate the benefits of a dog-friendly workplace. Research shows that pets have calming effects, reduce blood pressure, lower stress, and make employees more productive. It can also inspire conversation and collaboration between teammates. Factors that positively affect team members connect to improved office morale, fewer days absent, and a healthy work-life balance.
Pet-friendly office spaces found employees’ self-reported stress levels declined when their dogs were present. Stress increased for non-pet parents and for pet parents who did not bring their dogs to work.
Increase productivity and promote creativity
“You discover, when walking across the office to pet a cute dog, cross-pollination between your work. You really wouldn’t have had the idea to work together, but because you struck up a conversation about the dog, you discover an opportunity that produces some synergy that wouldn’t have otherwise existed.” Jennifer Calfas, TIME Magazine
More and more frequently, employers and their teams are discovering that pets at the workplace make them happier, lower stress levels, and create a comfortable, flexible environment. Pets can create camaraderie within the workplace and trigger interactions that may not have happened without them.
Better communication leads to more trust, a key component in a successful work environment. Trust and communication rival stress and promotes productivity. This means improved morale and a stronger team! Furthermore, reduced stress means less stress-related ailments and the healthcare expenses that follow (which just fuels more…well… stress)!
Enhancing socialization among co-workers
We all know in a startup atmosphere, the idea of 9-5 is practically non-existent. Imagine the pressure and worry a pet owner would have should they want/need to stay late at the office. Suddenly, they can stay and enjoy office happy hours or other activities rather than rushing home to be with their furry friend.
Pets can act as catalysts for human and social interactions. A series of workplace experiments showed employees were more likely to trust each other, open up, and participate in work exercises when a pet is present in a group.
Tips for the Pet-Friendly workplace
Pets in the workplace are beneficial, but the proper steps should be taken to ensure a healthy environment for both pets and their hoomans.
- Maintain good hygiene. Not only should you be healthy at work to avoid spreading sickness, but pets should as well. Pets should be clean, as well as free of contagions and fleas or ticks.
- Make sure vaccinations are up to date.
- Introduce new pets slowly. Pets are still animals, and need to be acclimated appropriately to new environments. Especially when there are other pets and people involved.
- Inform teammates of training and dietary needs. There has to be a level of respect and owners should understand that their pet is not the only one in the workplace. Respecting the workplace by training and observing pets can prevent any unseen issues.
Ready to hire your first furry Brand Ambassador?
Having a pet around the office is paw-sitively wonderful, and can make for a better working culture. Even just petting them will make you happy and reduce stress. The type of pet you pick will depend on where you work and the kind of space you have. So do your research, pet-proof the office, and put a furry new face on the payroll!
Meet a few of our furry teammates!