Fluffy. Cuddles. Cuteness. Need we say more?
We all know this was really just an excuse to share our own beloved animal colleagues with you all…
But seriously, what are the benefits of having pets in the office? There are whole companies based upon the premise now, allowing you to hire puppies for the day to come and interact with your staff, so there must be something in it.
From studies, there is empirical evidence supporting the notion that dogs may provide social support and improve performance. Pets have also been proven to be “stress buffers” – lowering both heart rate and blood pressure in humans after just a short interaction with them. Pets can also increase social interactions between staff members, bridging a gap you may not even know existed.
Now, we’re not saying you should turn your office into a zoo! At the end of the day, offices are still places of work. Other considerations have to be made such as health and safety, and employees who may be less comfortable around animals. However, considering all of the proven positive benefits it is worth contemplating how you could make this work for your own situation.
For example, in the IR Global office 75% of our staff own dogs. If we all brought them in every day, it would be chaos (and that’s after we drew the line at bringing horses in!). So, we organise a dog rota so that there are never more than two dogs in on any one day, these dogs have to be proven to get along, and work in different departments so that they are kept separate for the majority of the day.
In doing this it gets our staff members outside on their breaks for walks, gives them an endorphin boost when a dog comes to their desk to say hello, and relieves some of the pressure of finding day-care for their dogs whilst they’re at work!
We’re very fortunate to have our offices based upon a dog-friendly farm – but these ideas can be adapted to any working environment to suit your staff and your needs.
Be sure to send us pictures of any of your office animals, large and small, to firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know how you make it work for you for a chance to be featured in our newsletter.
Here’s one more for good luck…