Advantages and Disadvantages of Having Pets in the Workplace

Pet at Work

How cool can it be, if you can bring your pet to work every single day?
This is not something new, but I bet most individuals reading this post right now did not have a chance to join a company which have such welfare. Companies such as Google, Amazon, and Zynga – best known for the game FarmVille – allow their employees to bring their pets to work. While many relate pets to all kinds of animals, generally, for the purpose of this topic, it only refer to 4-legged animals – dogs, cats, etc., with dogs seem to be the most prominent.

Advantages

A study from Virginia Commonwealth University found that those who brought their pet to work had lower stress levels than those who didn’t.
Central Michigan University found that people tend to collaborate and trust each other more in a dog-friendly working environment. This could also probably due to an easier ice-breaking for colleagues across departments where dogs act as their “middleman”.
These studies seem to suggest that pets in the workplace might improve productivity and staff morale, which in turn help in retaining employees.

Disadvantages

While pets seem to promise a range of positive benefits, it comes with possible disadvantages as well.
Not everyone loves dogs, cats, etc., and some even have phobia towards them. Employees’ allergies would also need to be taken into serious consideration.
Distraction. Having pets at work might direct employees’ attention away from what is deem as important – work. Such could dilute the possible productivity gains from having them in the first place.
Lastly, safety. Animals can be dangerous sometimes.

I love the idea of having a pet by my side while I work. I can image that happening, and I believe how it helps in reducing stress. I have turtles at home, and when I am stress with life, I literally talk to them, serious. Though I doubt they understood me, but they do grant me a relaxing feeling after that.

If your upcoming meeting is about Staff Welfare or discussion on improvements in productivity, you can consider bringing it on the table. While there are possible disadvantages, they can be mitigated with proper planning and policies. Let me know if you had succeeded. By the way, the above picture is only for illustration purposes. I don’t think any company would allow that. But I love Kangaroos.

References:
PeopleGeek
Business.com
5OnYourSide

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