Wednesday, August 5, 2020
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The Pros and Cons of Pet-Friendly Offices

Imagine your dream office. Now, imagine it with a cute, fluffy four-legged companion sniffing around. Much better, right? While this scenario sparks excitement and joy, some people would actually be disgusted or terrified by it. Sadly, not everyone likes or tolerates pets near them. No matter how weird you find that kind of people, as an employer, you need to be considerate towards your employees’ likes and dislikes.

Are you planning on making your office pet friendly? Before you do, make sure to consider all the pros and possible cons of the change and whether the downsides can be eliminated.

1. Financial benefits

Let’s face it, taking care of a pet is expensive. Dogs require daily walks, playtimes and, most importantly, a lot of attention. Being stuck at work makes you unable to provide them with what they need, which can be stressful for owners and fur babies. Even though options like dog walking services, dog nannies and doggie daycare exist, using them daily can be extremely expensive.

So, instead of putting yourself, your employees and pets under stress, create a pet-friendly office. Your co-workers can save time and money, and hold their nerve by making that possibility happen. So, the next time you walk in the office, instead of frowned faces, you’ll be greeted by smiles and wiggly tails.

2. Mess

Pets bring happiness and joy into our lives and make boring and monotone days amusing. However, that happiness comes with the price. It’s called the mess which some people can’t stand. During the rainy or snowy weather, muddy paws are almost inevitable. The smell of dog and cat food can be particularly off-putting; the hair is going to be everywhere, especially during the shedding season.

It’s alright if you don’t want your offices to smell like a pet store. After all, you want what’s best for your employees, that includes sanitary conditions. However, this can be prevented. Instead of hiring the cleaning service every other day or once a week, employe them to clean the premises every day. No more smell, mud or hair in the office.

3. Attract and retain employees

Not many business owners are brave enough to transform their workplace into a pet-friendly one. Also, many of them are unaware of the potential benefits this transformation brings. Did you know that pet-friendly companies tend to attract more talented people and retain them long-term? Many employees rate pet-friendly workplaces higher than those that are not. Why is that?

People who care about their pets get frustrated if they aren’t able to spend time with them. Therefore, pet-friendly offices offer them the opportunity to stay with their beloved pet and work full time without worrying about the pet’s safety and needs. No wonder the employees stay longer in companies like that.

 4. Dislikes and fears

Turning your work premises into pet-friendly space requires the consent given by every employee. Agreements can usually be reached in small businesses. However, large companies with over thousands of employees are the problem when it comes to this. Even if the majority of the workers want their workspace to be pet-friendly, you have to respect everyone’s opinion.

Unfortunately, democratic voting isn’t an option here, because some people are scared of the dogs, or simply they don’t like them and don’t want them near. To suit both sides needs, consider organising the office space so that there are two separate areas. One for those who love or don’t mind a fluffy companion. The other for those who are against having pets in the workplace.

5. Allergies and phobias

This is one of the biggest problems you can run into. You can’t make people stop being allergic to dogs neither you can stop them from having a dog-related trauma that led to the phobia. You simply need to be considerate towards them. Your employees’ health and well-being should come first.

Some people are willing to deal with occasional sniffs and coughs due to the allergy. Others may have severe allergies that can lead to suffocating and even death. There is nothing much you can do. Creating pet-free zones is an option, but that doesn’t guarantee that employees with phobias and allergies are safe.

6. Improve clients’ perception

We can claim that most people adore pets. Pets can lift your mood up and make you smile when you’re feeling blue or stressed. If your employees are thrilled by the idea of having a dog or multiple dogs in the office, why wouldn’t the clients be as well? Having a pet in the office is a great way to boost customers’ perception of your business.

A lot of people positively react when they see a pet in the workplace, especially if they have a chance to interact with it. It can brighten their mood and decrease stress and anxiety levels. Besides that, fur babies can have an amazingly positive impact on your company’s image. You can be recognised as a marvellous business with that cute dog on the premises!

7. Distractions

No matter how much we deny this, pets’ cuteness can be a distraction. With a dog running around the office, many employees will need to fight the urge to pet it every time it zooms by. Even if it lies down and does absolutely nothing but be it adorable self, a lot of people will get distracted by it.

The truth is, dogs are loud. They can bark when they feel scared, excited, happy or annoyed. They loudly chew food and actively demand playtime and pets. So, it’s understandable that people would rather play with the dog than finish their tasks. Who wouldn’t? Instead of dealing with overdue tasks, allow your employees to play with the pet during the break time only.

8. Productivity

Due to the possible distractions, many people are sceptical when they hear that pets can boost productivity. How do they help you become a better worker? Dogs that are properly trained can, in fact, help you focus better and be more productive. Believe it or not, the correlation between pets and productivity is nowhere near enough explored and researched as it should be.

All we know is that the less anxious and tensed we are, the more productive and creative we get. Furry friends are experts in this field. With only a couple of tail wags and drooled ball in your lap, your day will significantly improve.

9. Damaged property

Every pet owner knows the struggle of having a puppy or a dog who likes to chew stuff. Allowing it in the office means that personal and company property may be in danger of a mighty chewer. This means that the employees will need to take care of their things while this adorable beast is on the loose. However, belongings aren’t the central issue here. What about the cables and other electric devices that can hurt the pet?

Instead of having to supervise the puppy all the time, you need to protect the office and make it puppy-proof. To work undisturbedly, you need to secure all the cables in the workplace. There is no better way to do so than by getting a high-quality cable cover that will keep them contained. It also prevents them from becoming a trip hazard and keeps them safe from the sharp puppy teeth.

10. Reduced stress

Petting a friendly dog or a cat has a soothing effect on our nervous system. It realises the happy hormones, calming us down and reducing the stressed caused by work. It’s no wonder people say that pets are the best therapists.

Besides reducing your stress, fluffy companions have mood-boosting powers. Those goofballs will definitely make you smile. Pets also reduce tension and conflict. They make it easier for employees to step out of their comfort zones and socialise with their co-workers. It’s commonly known that dogs bring us closer and increase the sense of community.

Conclusion

As you can see, having a pet-friendly office has both pros and cons. Transforming your office into a pet-friendly one isn’t an easy decision. If no obstacles are standing on your way, this change can only be beneficial for everyone at that workplace. Once you decide to make the office pet-friendly, don’t forget to dog-proof the premises. Enjoy the benefits those fluffy companions bring.

Ana Hoffman
Anna Hoffman is a part-time blogger who blog about Business Technology, Digital Marketing, Real Estate, Digital Currencies, and Educational topics.

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