Can Animals Improve Your Workspace?

We think that anything that lifts stress off all of our shoulders is a plus; from home-life to work-life opportunities for stress to weave its way into our days are numerous, so naturally, you should welcome as many opportunities as possible to alleviate it too!

There is evidence to suggest that having animals present in a workspace can benefit you, your employees and your business, so what exactly are these reasons behind this which you should be considering?

 

Stress Busting

Welcoming animals into your workspace brings a relaxed and open environment, encouraging employees to feel more comfortable and therefore more focused and ready to work.  Those interacting with animals such as dogs and cats experience a higher production of oxytocin, a stress-reducing hormone, and lower production of cortisol, the stress hormone!

On another level, owners may well feel much more comfortable with their four-legged pals with them, and not worrying about them being at home during the day.

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Image Boosting

Leaving your employees aside for a moment, customers and partners visiting your workspace for meetings will generally view a pet-friendly workspace, accommodating some furry friends as more inviting and could even improve their perception of the brand as a whole. If you have your own animals in the workplace or encourage your team to bring in theirs, you’ll be joining companies like Mars, Google and Amazon, all often mentioned in the rundown of top companies to work for – not bad company for you to keep! 

 

A Change of Pace

We all know exercise is not only exceptionally good for our bodies but our minds too, increasing concentration and energy levels with blood flow to the brain.  Dogs need exercise so bringing them in the office will encourage their owners, your staff, to take them out on their breaks and lunchtimes, improving health and performance.

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Employer Branding

Keeping your staff content will be one of your number one concerns as an employer, workers who respect their employers and find their workspace a pleasant place to be are the workers who give most generously with their time and effort.  Pet owners love their animals and as we mentioned, naturally feel more relaxed and comforted in their presence, they may also save on pet care costs, so allowing the flexibility of being able to bring their pets with them is sure to earn you some employer points.

 

The Practicalities

Not every employee might feel entirely positively towards having animals in the office due to fears or allergies, so having certain restrictions in place or an animal-free area is also a good idea.  In a smaller office or company this will be easier to monitor, but regardless of your size, encourage all employees to speak openly about their feelings towards the change, before and during.  Alternatively,  if you didn’t want to risk a permanent animal takeover just yet, you could try a pet-friendly Friday so your employees can feel the benefits!   Plus, take your dog to work day is celebrated on June 21st so if you’re looking for an excuse to trial introducing pets as a feature in your workspace that could well be it!