Dog at Office

The Pros and Cons of Pet-Friendly Perks

Recent studies indicate that pet-friendly companies are more likely to attract, engage and retain employees. Allowing animals in the workplace may also create a less stressful environment, enhance employee well-being and increase overall productivity.

According to Nationwide, the largest provider of pet health insurance in the U.S., more than three times as many employees at pet-friendly workplaces report a positive working relationship with their co-workers and are more likely to stay with the company long-term.

Furthermore, 90 percent of employees in pet-friendly workplaces feel highly connected to their company’s mission, fully engaged in their work and willing to recommend their employer to others. In contrast, less than 65 percent of employees in non-pet friendly workplaces made the same claims.

Although companies such as Google and Amazon have cultivated successful pet-friendly workplaces, this growing trend may not be for everyone or every company. While pets can have a very positive effect on productivity, job satisfaction and personal well-being, their presence in the workplace may create certain health and safety concerns for employees.

For example, some individuals may have severe allergic reactions to pets that necessitate reasonable workplace accommodations. Pets also pose the risk of bites and becoming a trip and fall hazard. However, there are ways to mitigate these challenges, such as allowing pets only in designated areas or installing special air filters to reduce allergens.

For employers who decide to make pets part of the team, it is important to develop a clear policy detailing what is and what is not permitted. The policy should address weight, age and breed restrictions; designated pet and pet-free area locations; protocols for tending to messes and handling aggressive behavior; vaccination and medication requirements; and minimum grooming requirements.

Other ways to create a pet-friendly culture include designating days when employees can bring their four-legged friends to work and encouraging pet-related activities outside the office. Employers may also bring therapy dogs into the office on a monthly or quarterly basis to help workers unwind and relieve stress. A final option is to add pet insurance to your employee benefits package.

Overall, creating a pet-friendly workplace can set companies apart from the rest while improving employee productivity, satisfaction and well-being.

Pacific Federal is a subsidiary of Zenith American Solutions.