3 ways a pet-friendly office can help your business

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Most Americans have at least one pet, which means the majority of your employees probably have a cat or a dog that they leave at home for at least eight hours a day. Have you ever considered allowing your workers to bring their furry friends with them to the office? If so, you are not alone.

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In 2015, according to Society of Human Resources Management, 8 percent of American workplaces allowed employees to bring dogs and other small pets into the workplace. In 2013, only 5 percent permitted it.

Pet-friendly workplaces are on the rise because employers are beginning to recognize that there are a multitude of advantages to allowing pets in the office … for their employees and for their business.

Of course, there are many factors that you must consider when allowing your employees to bring their pets to work with them. Their coworkers may have allergies or aversions to animals. Considering the potential liability that may arise with animals at the workplace, a pet insurance policy should be in place with HR and employees should be required to provide proof of liability and health insurance for any pet they bring on the premises. After you’ve written and distributed a pet liability policy, you’re on your way to a pet-friendly office. Here are a few more reasons to consider allowing pets at your place of business.

  1. Attract a variety of workers

Unique perks are a great way to lure skilled workers. If you run the type of business that could benefit from the recruitment of tech-savvy millennials, a pet-friendly workplace is one perk that you might not want to overlook.

According to the CDC, millennials are delaying both marriage and children. Instead, they are more likely to seek the companionship of a pet. But because they view their furry friends as a part of their family, they don’t like to leave them home alone. In fact, millennials list the ability to bring their pets to work among their three most-desired workplace perks (along with bus passes and paid overtime, in case you were wondering).

  1. Reduce stress

As the workday progresses, it is quite common for stress levels around an office to skyrocket. People get tired and tense and just want to get out of there. Pets at work can help with this. In fact, research published in 2012 compared the stress levels of workers who brought their dogs to work with that of workers who did not. The study found that stress levels for workers who brought their dogs to work actually fell by 11 percent as the day went on. Pet-free workers, however, experienced a 70-percent increase in their stress levels. Workers found that having Fido nearby helps soothe them in high-stress situations. It also forces people to take breaks, go outside in the fresh air, and gives them a chance to relax.

  1. Improve productivity

A 2008 American Pet Products Manufacturers Association survey of 50 small and large companies showed that people who bring their pets to the office are not only willing to work longer hours, they are also less likely to miss work.

While it might seem like pets in the workplace would be a distraction, studies have found that allowing workers to bring pets to the office can actually make people more focused. The presence of a pet has been shown to improve trust and collaboration among employees. And, you know how we were talking about productivity? Less-stressed employees are healthy employees, which means that they are less likely to take sick time or — let’s be honest — ditch days.

courtney

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