Nowadays, stress is an unavoidable part of adult life. Considering everything that needs to be done in 24 hours, life can get overwhelming. Stress can wreak havoc not only on a person’s mental wellness but also on their physical health.
Without a doubt, the workplace is a hotbed for stressors and triggers. According to the American Institute of Stress, 40% of employees feel extremely stressed at work. Out of the 40%, 25% consider their jobs as the most stressful part of their lives. This has led to 62% of the participating workers to experience work-related pains such as neck strain following an 8-hour shift.
More than protecting your employees from pathogens and germs, it is your responsibility as a business owner to ensure that your workers do not burn out from the demands of the job. After all, happy employees are productive employees.
There are simple ways to reduce stressors in a workplace environment. Arguably, one of the most rewarding is allowing pets in the office.
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As with any new policy, it is important to consider the pros and cons of allowing pets in the office. The decision highly depends on the kind of operation that you run. There are very real benefits to allowing animals in the workplace. However, the decision should not be taken lightly.
According to the same American Institute of Stress study, around 14% of employees have been driven to physical violence against their peers because of stress. 25% have yelled at a colleague because of being overwhelmed with stress.
Allowing pets in the office have been proven to reduce stress levels in employees. In fact, it has increased cooperation and communication between workers.
Allowing pets in the office is a testament to the kind of management a company has. Pet-friendly workplaces usually experience high employee retention rates because these types of policies for companies are still not the norm. Workers are more likely to stay with an operation that allows them to enjoy perks that others can’t provide.
As discussed earlier, happy employees are productive employees. It has been proven that the presence of pets can relieve stress and increase happiness in humans. Allowing pets in the office helps workers feel more content. It sends a message to employees that management cares about their stress-levels and is willing to create policies that take care of their needs.
Allowing pets at work provides an opportunity for employees to take a piece of home with them. Pet-friendly policies bridge the gap between home and work life. Workers feel at home and no longer would they feel the rush to get off work to be with their pets. As a business owner, you can expect your employees to be more willing to stay in the office for overtime if you allow them to bring their pets to work.
More than mental and emotional repercussions, stress can lead damning effects for a person’s physical body. Stress lowers a person’s immunity. It makes them more susceptible to catching diseases. Stress can also trigger tension pain. Managing the stress of your employees can help you manage their productivity and attendance.
There is no denying the comfort and ease of dogs and cats bring to any space. Allowing pets in the workplace creates a friendlier work environment and enhances company culture. Moreover, if you are looking to hire younger people for your operation, it is important to note, that millennials, in particular, are attracted to pet-friendly companies.
Studies have shown that pets in the office can increase the productivity of employees. However, there is a caveat to the results of the research. Pets that aren’t trained and well-behaved might not necessarily be comfortable in a crowded space. This could lead to them acting out, barking, meowing, or making a mess.
Unfortunately, because of allergies, not everyone can have pets. In fact, according to research, 3 out of 10 people across the country have an allergic reaction to pet dander. Allowing pets can do wonders for managing the stress of your employees. However, it might make other workers uncomfortable or worse, sick with the set-up.
For the most part, it doesn’t matter if a pet is potty trained. You can still expect changes in your maintenance guidelines following your pet-friendly policies. After all, dogs and cats shed. Pet dander stills need to be kept at bay.
Ultimately, the decision to allow pets in the office depends on your company’s specific needs and processes. If you have decided to become a pet-friendly workplace, it is important to include your employees in policymaking. Below are a few guidelines that you should consider to be non-negotiables:
Just because your office is pet-friendly doesn’t mean all types of pets are allowed in the workplace. Put limitations on the kind of animals your employees can bring with them. Think about it, you don’t want a snake on your office floor neither do you want a hulking St. Bernard slobbering in your carpets.
This guideline should be a non-negotiable. Vaccines protect not only the pet but also the people and animals around them. Before being allowed in, it is a good idea to require proof of vaccination. This way your office doesn’t become liable for any possible injuries.
Truth be told, there is a time and place for everything. This rings true for pets in the office. A pet-friendly policy doesn’t necessarily mean that your worker’s pets can roam around wherever they want in the office. Assign zones that are comfortable for the animals and the pet-owners. This way you can keep the mess at bay.
Creating a pet-friendly office environment can do wonders for your employees. It is a great step in designing a space of productivity and joy instead of an area for stress and triggers.
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