Do you agree with having pets, especially cats and dogs in your workplace? According to Forbes Magazine, having a pet-friendly business is a win-win move both for the employers and the employee. The pandemic has taken a toll on the Mental health of Filipinos. Given the changes when it comes to dynamics, policies, lifestyle, and different setup, one of the major focuses of almost all institutions are making sure that employees are still given opportunities to take care of their own well-being. Because of the lockdown, Filipinos became fond of plants, TikTok dances, exercise at home, and even pets. Given the changes in the different hobbies of the Filipinos during the lockdown, businesses are now considering a pet-friendly setup. According to better cities for pets, 89% of pet parents say it’s important that they can continue to spend more time with pets during their workdays. 72% of those working at home say that they want to be able to take pets to work and for those who are returning to work, 79% are very much concerned about pets’ health or well-being. There are also 64% of Gen Z and 56% of millennials that prefer to switch to a new job or reduce working hours to spend more time with their pets.
According to Mental Health America, these are the different benefits of pet-friendly businesses:
1. Improvement in physical and mental health
Pet ownership can help with cardiovascular health, stress reduction, and blood pressure reduction. Pet-friendly businesses can also help with loneliness, which is a major component in mental health and many chronic illnesses.
2. It lessens stress levels and increases productivity
There are numerous variables that contribute to stress in today’s world. According to the findings, having a pet in the room can make a person feel more comfortable. Furthermore, simply caressing a dog or cat can help lower blood pressure and make people feel calm, as touch and movement are excellent stress relievers. Employees who took their dogs to work had an 11 percent decrease in stress levels, but those who left their dogs at home saw a 70 percent increase, according to Virginia Commonwealth University research. They found out that the presence of pets in pet-friendly businesses is a considerable stress buffer for their owners. The researchers discovered that the benefits may also extend to coworkers, who reported enjoying brief contact with the cats and even asking to walk them.
While the influence of dog presence on group problem-solving has been investigated by the Human-Animal Bond Research Institute. Their findings show that groups with a dog have more cohesiveness, trust, and cooperation. They’ve also conducted a nationwide survey that found pet-friendly workplaces and they saw that there is higher employee engagement and retention. According to the Society of Human Resource Management, around 9% of American employers now allow pet owners to bring their dogs to work, up from 4% in 2014. Every day, more than 6,000 canines join their owners for work at a Seattle-based e-commerce company.
Pets reduce stress hormones which may be applied both at work and at home. A lot of workplaces are stressful and tense, so being able to reach down and pet your dog or walk across the hallway and pet someone else’s dog offers an immediate physiological effect that reduces the stress chemicals in your body. In a difficult situation, dogs may be a godsend because they bring a soothing kind of serenity and a lot of smiles.
What are the companies that started a pet-friendly business?
One of the employee programs created by Nestle just last 2015 is Nestle’s PAW (Pets at work) where every pet gets its own “passport”. All employees are allowed to bring their dogs which they refer to as the ‘canine colleagues’. They are placed into an assigned room which they call the Central bark dog area. According to Odette Forbes, head of media relations of Nestle “ The atmosphere in the office is warmer now and more sociable, people will stop you in corridors to stroke your dog so you start talking to someone in a different part of the company who you’d never normally have spoken to, or have only encountered over email.”
Google is a certified dog lover company. Their affection for dogs is considered an integral part of their corporate culture. They don’t prohibit cats but since their company prioritizes dogs, they think that this might affect the dogs if both cats and dogs will be allowed to enter the vicinity.
For them, dogs embody loyalty and all-around playfulness of the company. With this, they have also implemented a no peeing policy on the carpets. This way employees will be responsible enough if they are thinking of bringing their dogs to the workplace.
Amazon has also adopted the pet friendly business. They have 6,000 dogs on any given day in Amazon Seattle’s headquarters. It is located on the 17th floor which they call the doggy deck. These special headquarters are designated for their play area. They have also placed special dog treats in the different reception areas.
The most awaited month for them is October, for these dogs celebrate Halloween wherein the dogs and their owners are given the opportunity to dress up in Halloween costumes. This is what they call the “Barktoberfest”. According to Lara Hirschfield, the Woof Pack Manager of Amazon, since Amazon is a company that innovates she can say that it has a priceless benefit.
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What are the things to consider if you will innovate your business in becoming pet-friendly?
If you are trying to re-think innovations adopted by Google, Nestle, and Amazon in boosting the morale of your employees, you will need to prioritize creating an environment that is animal friendly and create a list of guidelines for best practices. You may also consider making an essential risk assessment first before an employee can bring their fur companions in the workspace.
According to Nestle, before they implemented having a pet-friendly business they have to make sure that the fur pets are insured by a third party insurance company to make sure that there is a liability and that basic health protocols are also followed by their owners e.g vaccines.
According to CIO.com, employers should make sure that opinions of all employees are also heard before implementation since there can be allergies or phobias that can trigger other employees. You can set a pet-free zone for those who would object the idea, set a schedule or limit the number of pets per day, and always prioritize health and hygiene.
In a nutshell, having a pet-friendly business will require a lot of work but can have a paw-some effect on the productivity of your company. In these times of pandemic burnout, this move will be one of the most worthy risks you can take for your business. Aside from choosing to be a pet-friendly business, you can also choose Bria Homes as a safe space for your fur children. Come and visit our website for more information.