The Perks of Having an Office Pet
Woofles, Bruno and Lord Maximus the III may have weaselled their way into your home via persistent kids, a pet obsessed spouse, or even via your own soft heart, but research is now suggesting that these three should possibly be frequenting your office environment too.
A trend sweeping the UK is promoting the presence of pets in the work place. Not only is the current research indicating that having a pet at home provides impressive psychological, emotional and health benefits, but that office environments also stand to gain similar benefits from the presence of pets in the workplace.
The Case for the Office Pet
If you work in an office that has an open door pet policy, here’s what your team can expect:
- A decreased risk of heart disease.
Studies conducted by the National Institute of Health (North America) have indicated that pet owners tend to maintain healthier blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels. This in turn translates into a decreased risk of a heart attack. The studies also indicate that pet owners who have already suffered a heart attack tend to recover faster than their pet-less counterparts.
- Lower stress levels.
Having pets present within the working environment has been proven to reduce stress levels according to research by the Virginia Commonwealth University.
- Shorter spells of sadness.
It’s true. Pets are able to provide their people with love and a sense of purpose. Exposure to this can help lessen the length and intensity of the Monday morning pity party.
- Fewer feelings of loneliness.
Pets are able to help counteract feelings of loneliness by simply being present. Even though not human, this companionship is still cognitively and emotionally registered.
- Longer work days.
In general, employees claim to be more willing / likely / able to work longer hours if they have their pet with them at work. While we have no written evidence for this, we challenge you to put this to your office 😉
- Better relationships with colleagues and office morale.
Research conducted by Central Michigan University has shown that pets have been found to elicit higher levels of trust and collaboration amongst colleagues when present in group meetings. Pets also tend to act as effective ice breakers, and serve to boost overall office morale.
- Improved levels of health and productivity.
Having pets in the work place, dogs in particular, encourage movement and regular breaks. It’s also an incentive for pet loving / owning staff to conduct “walking meetings” whilst walking office dogs. This idea dates back to Aristotle’s time and has been known to increase creativity. And obviously, increased levels of movement have a positive effect on health. Taking mental breaks from work has also been shown to increase overall productivity and efficiency.
Obviously it’s important to consider a few things before bringing your beloved furry to work. Does your company policy allow for pets in the work place? Are your colleagues all allergy free? Is your work place safe for your pet and vice versa? Are you able to effectively look after your pet at work? If the answer to any of these in no, then unfortunately taking your pet to work may not be a viable option.
On the upswing…
However, if you are lucky enough to be able to take your pet in to work, we’d love to see your furry friend in their office environment! Our #WaggingAtWork Best Office Pet Competition is providing all eager office pets an opportunity to shine online. Submit a photo of your furry (or scaly, or feathered) friend in the workplace, and let the public decide who the working world’s most popular pet really is! Include a personal write-up covering what your pet brings to the workplace (skills, a morale boost, the need for a slobber scale), and you’re entered! You can vote for up to 5 pets a day, every day. And you are encouraged to share your pet’s link on social media and rally all your friends, family and colleagues to vote for your resident furry.
Why should you enter?
The best part? For each entry, MediaVision will donate five pounds to All Dogs Matter, to help support all those pups that are still in need of a fur-ever home.
What’s the point?
We’d love to challenge all reading this who are not yet proud members of an interspecies office to consider the benefits of adopting an office pet in need of a home. Dogs in particular thrive in social environments, and would love nothing more than to up the pet-to-human ratio in your place of work.