Pets in the Office: Pros and Cons

Pets in the Office: Pros and Cons

Pets can become a significant part of people's lives if they have one, and many companies are starting to take notice. When it comes to office policies, many businesses are beginning to consider pets as part of the package. Companies both big and small are starting to find themselves in a situation where they have to explicitly state what their policy is on pets, especially as it becomes a bigger and more significant topic of conversation in the business world.

Whether you like animals or not, saying yay or nay to your employer's furry companions is not necessarily quite so cut and dry. Some may say home life shouldn't follow you to the office, while others might say, "the more, the merrier!" Regardless of personal opinions though, allowing pets into the office affects more than just the pet owner, or the office managers responsible for making these decisions.

Allowing pets in the office has the potential to affect everyone -- both positively and negatively -- which is why there are many factors that you should consider before putting policy into place. Below we've compiled a list of a few basic facts to take into consideration before deciding for, or against, pets in the workplace.


Pros


Peace of mind for pet owners. Many pet owners dread having to leave their pets alone at home because there's no telling what they can get up to while they're away. Allowing pets in the office can help your employee bring their focus back to the job, knowing that their pet is safe by their side.

Therapeutic value. Everyone's heard of therapy dogs! Whether or not someone has a pet trained for this purpose, dogs provide a mood boost for not just their owner, but those around them too. If you've got an office full of dog lovers, allowing pets in the office could help boost employee morale.

Showing you care. For a business to allow pets into an office environment, it shows a great deal of respect and understanding of your employee's needs. Allowing employees to bring their pets to work shows that you care about them as a person as well as an employee, and understand that there's a need for flexibility to make an office run smoothly.


Cons


Allergies. Pet dander is an incredibly common allergy, and if someone in your office suffers from it, it could make coming to work for them a pain. This could mean having to rearrange the office seating chart to keep them away from the dog, or asking them to take allergy meds so they can keep a clear head while at work. Neither is conducive to a positive work environment.

Noise control. Let’s be honest; pets can be loud. Allowing dogs that bark at their own shadows into the office could result in loud interruptions that distract employees. Even if you limit your policy only to allow timid dogs in the office, the odd outburst may inevitably happen, which can disrupt the flow of the office. This may also seem unfair to owners with louder pets.

Productivity drop. For both pet owners themselves, and employees who fawn over dogs, having them in a working environment can be a distraction. Owners want to watch out for them and keep them in check, which can distract them from doing their job. Further, non-owners who are dog lovers could also be pulled away from their work more frequently to just say hello, or give them a pat.


To Pet or Not to Pet


Ultimately, the decision to allow pets in the office does lie with the employer. But it's always good to consider your employees when making a decision that can drastically affect their day-to-day! At CareGuide, we have made the decision to be dog-friendly, so long as they are not disruptive to the working environment. This has worked out well; increasing employee morale, with little to no cons.

There are both positives and negatives to pet-friendly office policies. Whether it is right for your company to allow pets relies heavily on what type of company you are, and what you value.