What Are Pets “Doing” in the Work Place?

It has been estimated that more than 60% Americans own a pet. It is not a huge surprise that these pets are slowly starting to become more accepted in the workplace. There have been many studies done on the affects that this very topic can have. There is research to back up the fact that owners express a bit more of their personalities. Empathic symbols—like plants and artwork—are suggestive overall of warmth and comfort. Empathic symbols may encourage more social interaction by providing a neutral field where employees can connect with each other. Psychologically, they convey the perception that someone is approachable and friendly.

Here are some of the benefits of workplace pets:

  1. relieve stress in the workplace
  2. make the office more friendly
  3. provide a positive diversion

A study shows, “it was found that the presence of a companion dog in a group work setting encouraged participants to be more cooperative, communicative, and friendly toward each other than in groups where there was no companion dog. This supports the proposal that pets may help break down barriers to social interaction by providing a pathway to conversation.”

Not only does this provide the workplace with these benefits, but it also give the employees a sense of flexibility. Nichole has been bringing her two rat terriers (Lady and Lucky) to work for about a year now ever since learning that Lady was starting to have seizers in her rising age. It was either go home sporadically throughout the work day, or bring them to work in order to keep an eye on them. Being able to have her dogs with her at work not only gives her the benefits listed above, but it also makes it so she is able to stay at work longer on a crazy work day without having to worry about getting home to let her four legged children out. In addition, pets need to go outside throughout the day, but so do we! Being able to take these breaks and breath in some fresh air rejuvenates us and makes us more productive.