8 Questions About Animals in the Workplace
- Why is it good for people to bring their pets to work? Owning a pet can reduce blood pressure and relaxation our bodies. Job stress costs our corporations $300 billion annually. If we can lower job stress through pets in the workplace, we can lower this figure. People who are less stressed at work are more productive and creative.
- Why do some people want to bring their pets with them? Pets are silent best friends who can be with you at all times. Pet owners are also reported to be healthier and make fewer visits to a doctor.
- Are there studies providing evidence for the positive effects of having pets in the workplace? A study from the State University of New York at Buffalo found those exposed to stressful situations had lower heart rates and blood pressure when their pet was nearby. Their heart rates and blood pressure proved lower than another group in the study which had a spouse or friend nearby encouraging the individual.
- Are more and more employees actually taking their pets to work these days? With dogs in approximately 40 percent of American households, it only makes sense that more and more people are taking their pets to work. More companies are shifting to pet friendly policies as they review the literature on pets in the workplace. Studies show staff morale increased by bringing pets to work. There was increased camaraderie among employees. Happier employees enhance job performance. Store owners who take their dogs to work have reported increases in sales.
- Are pets in the workplace good for the business? Improving employee morale is always good for a business. Additionally, many store owners with pets reported that people walking by on the street would come into their store after seeing a cat or dog through the window.
- How will my clients react? Clients generally embrace pets in the workplace. It adds a very personal touch to the companies they are working with. My own company, Mindful Living Network®, has a section of our e-newsletter where I update the readers on the animals at my ranch, Oak Haven. Many of our customers contact us and tell us they support our business because we love animals and animals are present in our company and the Oak Haven® lifestyle approach.
- What about workers or clients who may be allergic to cats and/or dogs or who just don’t like them? Always be considerate of others, especially in the workplace. Restricting a pet to an employee’s office with a gate across the door or having a separate place to put pets away when clients visit can be solutions for these issues.
- Can you give me specific stories about pets at work and their effects on productivity, happiness, and actual health of workers? We have pets at Oak Haven®. I believe that animals connect us to each other and to virtues of compassion, altruism, kindness, and playfulness. Our staff bonds around the animals. We are more aware of the animals and each other.