Pet-friendly work environments have become a popular trend and are increasing, slowly becoming more integrated within the modern business environment. Just to name a few, big companies such as Google, Amazon, Ben & Jerry’s and Etsy, all of which have policies which allow employees to bring their pets to work. Whilst it may sound ideal to allow employees to bring their pets to work, this may have some downsides. In this article, we discuss both the pros and cons of pet-friendly work environments.
Allowing employees to bring their pets to work can help with creating a more tranquil and serene work environment with less stress. Apart from the enhanced employee morale, people just love talking about pets and their behaviour, so this is just another topic which can bring workers together and interact. There is also a financial benefit related to this. People who are allowed to take their pets to work are spared of the expense and hassle related to daycare for their animals. This serves as an excellent perk for pet owners.
From a recruitment point of view, it shows a prospective candidate that the business is open to the modern way of doing things. It is also beneficial for customer perception as it tends to portray a more open and friendly company image. Research also indicates that pet-friendly workplaces report lower levels of absence and longer working hours.
The Less Attractive Part …
During work hours, pets can serve as a distraction for both the employee and also his colleagues. A dog can bark and attempt playfulness which will impact employee productivity. Employees may also turn to pets for entertainment during inappropriate moments when work needs to be done swiftly. In certain cases, employees may be allergic or afraid of certain animals, hindering them from their day-to-day.
Pets can also cause damage to the office environment such as to the sofas, chairs and desks. Although most pets may display acceptable behaviour, in reality, all it takes is just one to create another expense due to damage. In more extreme cases, pets may bite or trip other employees, leading to an injury and by extension, legal action. Ups!
For businesses willing to introduce a pet-friendly environment, a policy to govern this approach is required. Such a policy should include procedures for misbehaviour, what types of pets are allowed, frequency on how much they can visit the office and the designated areas, where they can either be leashed or contained.
What are your views on pet-friendly work environments? We have a few animals at our office!