Walking into an office and seeing a cat lazily lying on the desk can come as a bit of a surprise. How common are office pets and are they even a great idea?
I remember going to interview for a job after I had moved to a new state a few years ago. It was my first interview in a long while so naturally I was sweaty and terrified. It probably didn’t help that I had to walk a half mile in the snow to get there. When I entered into the building, I immediately took note of how dingy it was. The place probably hadn’t seen a renovation since the early 70’s. It was then that a big, lanky dog walked around the corner and greeted me, tail wagging and whipping at the walls.
I was pumped. I’m an animal lover and this just about made my day. Not only that, but my nerves about the interview totally vanished. The only issue is that I’m allergic to animals (which is the bane of an animal lover’s existence.) It doesn’t stop me from rolling around on the ground with animals, but working with one? Not so much. I was offered the position but had to turn it down. Are offices really willing to lose a prospective employee over an animal?
It seems so. The Huffington Post reported that a lot of startups are allowing pets in their offices as a way to attract younger employees. Besides that, having an animal around has been proven to help lower your cholesterol, blood pressure, triglycerides and actually combat loneliness. Basically animals are good for the heart. So it would make sense that having a pet in the office would bring down stress levels and make for a better work environment.
Also, the benefits from being on your feet more while at work increase when you have a pet. We here at The Methodology Blog have discussed how getting up and standing at work instead of sitting all day is literally extending lives. Peter Li over at Atlas Wearables couldn’t agree more:
Movement during breaks throughout the workday has been proven to reduce back pain from sitting. It’s no surprise that Atlas Wearables, the developer of a digital trainer and heart rate band, praises the wellness benefits of pets at work. Based in Austin, Texas, CEO Peter Li notes one benefit of having a dog around is its need to be walked. Having Bluto the dog around created an opportunity to have walking meetings. “Standup meetings emphasize knowledge sharing. It helps keep the whole team on the same page running towards the same goal.”
If you need more proof, check out what Zac Felsenstein has to say about Libby the Havanese pup who visits the Bond Street office:
She adds another personality to the office. “ I see Libby and instantly my day is better,” remarked Felsenstein. She comes in 2-3 times a week and has created a culture of her own: the team sets aside time to walk her and feed her. It creates camaraderie, as everyone a the office shares responsibility caring for the office animals.
It used to be that being able to bring your dog to work was just a matter of convenience. Maybe they had a veterinarian appointment and it would be easier, so you got the go ahead from managers or HR and brought your pooch in. Now, many companies are jumping on board with the happiness and wellness that pets can bring and allowing them to stay. Would you like an office pet or do you think it would be more of a hindrance?