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Clare Hudson
Clare Hudson
  • 1 Minute Read
  • 18th July 2011

Pets in the Office Space

I’ve read a few articles recently about people taking their pets into the office with them. It seems to be pretty popular in the US; they even have a ‘Take your Dog to Work Day’.

Being a dog lover I instinctively reacted with, wow, what a great idea; I wish it was as popular over here. Imagine turning up to work and being greeted by an overly excited Labrador, having a friendly cat to sit on your lap whilst you typed or even having an office turtle or snake for everyone to look after together.

A writer for ‘This is Staffordshire’ doesn’t think it’s such a good idea: “Unless the workplace is a zoo, introducing animals and birds into it can only be disruptive and unhygienic. I can foresee bitter resistance from some employees, notably those who believe that bringing babies to work is bad enough.”

However research conducted by the digital online marketing site, Bio Agency, suggests that bringing pets to work would be quite the opposite. 55% of those surveyed said that having a pet in the office would help them to feel more motivated.

According to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, around 1 fifth of US companies allow their employees to bring in their pets to work and 3% of office workers who have dogs have brought their pets to work over a dozen times with no problems.

Jil Rosen of the Baltimore Sun mentioned that major corporations such as Google and Amazon have already taken the ‘Pets to Work’ idea on board. Rosen also said that over 150 dogs, cats and other animals belonging to staff and students, roam the MICA campus in Baltimore. All pets have to be registered and must wear an ID badge shaped like a bone on his/ her collar.

Terri Bodell, a consultant clinical psychotherapist and stress expert commented in the Guardian: "Pets at work can help employees to relax, reduce heart rate and lower blood pressure, which can decrease absenteeism and improve staff morale. Not only that, but employees that take a break to walk their dog seem to return to work in a more productive and positive frame of mind. It can also be good for team bonding and office dynamics. Pets in a workplace can help promote social interaction and help people collaborate more effectively."