I would like to welcome Fiona Appleton to the blog today! She is a proud Lab Mom. Fiona is the manager of https://ultimatehomelife.com/ which has been developed to help people solve the troubles of pet ownership. She has great insight for dog moms. She is also an active advocate of animal protection campaigns. Fiona wants people to understand that dog-behavior is reflective of our behavior.
Today Fiona is here to talk to us about pets in the workplace. Should it be allowed? What are the pros and cons? Fiona will let you in on this highly debated topic. Do you take your pup to work? Comment below and let us know if you agree.
Allowing pets at workplaces
Should pets be allowed at offices has become a commonly debated question! Research has shown that pets help to reduce the stress level of employees. Since 2015, offices have started allowing pets at workplaces to verify the experimental results. They not only relieve work stress but also lower blood pressure.
It all begins with the tender touch of love and care we feel for our kittens and puppies. This promotes the release of oxytocins (the chemicals that assist humans to develop social bonds). Pets help their owners to appreciate each other’s pets and widen their social circle. A boosted morale and fellowship is seen to bloom among co-workers. Pets increase the comfort level of employees and help them to easily work during late-sittings.
With hundreds of pros of bringing pets to the office, many businesses are interested in allowing it to keep the employees in their best mental state. On the contrary, there are various cons that have not been highlighted in the research done to date.
The article compares the positive and negative psychological effects of bringing the pets to the office.
Positive Psychological Effects
Here are some of the benefits employees enjoy when they have pets within their office space:
- Reduced Stress:
Pets surely increase the oxytocin levels and reduce the cortisol (stress hormones) level. Oxytocin raises positive energy in employees to work for longer hours and with greater commitment. When the needs of employees are taken into account, they reciprocate it by inducing loyalty into the work.
- Increased Output:
An increased overall output of the employees has been observed at workplaces allowing pets. They stay motivated throughout the day without feeling lethargic. This leads to greater productivity and creativity in businesses.
- More Creativity:
With the release of happy hormones in the blood, the employees show creativity in their job. Research has shown that an increased creativity is observed when employees bring pets to the office. A little physical activity break during the office hours helps them to smartly handle the tasks within the minimum possible time.
- Active, Alert and Responsible:
Pets keep employees active, alert, and responsible. They learn to balance their work goals and pet requirements. They fulfill their responsibilities towards both the pet and the job. The alert and active behavior impact their average output.
- Increased Physical Activity:
Employees understand that they have to tend to their pets every now and then. Many offices allow them to take their pet for a walk to relax their mind and exercise their mind and body. It prevents laziness, monotony, and disinterestedness.
- Ease in Work during Overtime:
With increased comfort level at the office, employees are able to easily work for extra hours. A reduced rate of absenteeism is seen after allowing pets at offices.
- Promotes Fellowship:
Pets can provide a reason for introverts and shy employees to interact more with others. They give them a motivation to openly express their opinions and thoughts. With more opinions, more ideas can be generated. A strengthened community of like-minded people is developed.
Negative Psychological Effects
There are some consequences that have not been highlighted in the research but are observed in the work environments:
- Animal Allergies:
In spite of the fact that a huge part of the US population owns pets, around 20 to 30 percent are allergic to animals. Some people are afraid of dogs, cats or other pets. Allowing pets can increase the stress level in such employees. It can cause health issues too. Therefore, there should be specified places to keep pets and only specific pets should be allowed such as cats and dogs that have positive effects on the mental wellbeing of people.
- Bad Offices for Pet Health:
Not all offices are ideal for pets. The chemical industries, educational institutes, mining and construction workplaces, hospitals and clinics, etc. can either be hazardous to pet health or they may interrupt with the smooth functioning of formal environments. Pet-related businesses are most ideal ambiances for pooches and kitties.
- Bad Pet Ownership:
Bad owners have misbehaving pets. The raucous, dominating, loud, and untrained dogs are unsuitable for a professional environment. It can give the employees a headache managing and dealing with pets side by side their work. The employees will get distracted easily every other moment that will decrease their output.
Bad pet ownership includes three most prominent problem areas, that is, setting the hyperactive pooch free, not tending to the exercise needs of the pet, and showing a lack of concern for pet’s behavioral or physical problems. They skip on the regular visits to the vet for vaccinations and complete health checkup. Some skip on the pooch’s regular dental health, showering, and grooming. This can pose the great threat to other pets and humans in the office.
- The Discomfort of the Pet:
All pets do not react similarly in new environments. Some may feel discomfort and anxiety in the quiet and calm surroundings. Other pooches may get protective of their owners. The anxiety may lead to unforeseen situations. Thus, pets can disrupt your calm, composed, and focused work routine. Moreover, if the pet becomes a cause of slack in achieving daily goals; it will create more stress, aggression, irritation, and other related psychological behaviors.
Considering the pros and cons of keeping pets at the office, you can find a midway to enjoy the positive effects and avoid the negative effects by employing the following tips:
- Allow trained, quiet, and well-behaved dogs or cats.
- Allow 2 to 3 pets with a specified place to cage them during work.
- Dogs/Cats should be housebroken, litterbox trained, vaccinated, and clean.
- Arrange pet interviews before allowing them.