As a small business owner, having your pet nearby could improve your day-to-day life. In fact, it could benefit your business, too. Many businesses are beginning to offer the option of bringing pets to work, which has become a popular policy for employees.
Still, there are also risks and downsides to implementing this type of rule. In this post, we’ll explore the pros and cons of bringing your pet to work, so that you can determine if this is something you should introduce.
Should You Allow Employees to Bring Their Pets to Work?
Pro: Help with Stress
It’s proven that petting an animal can reduce stress
. Due to this, they can be a major asset to the workplace. Understandably, running a business is a high-pressure role. You’re burdened with a myriad of tasks, and chances are, so are your employees.
To alleviate your stress
, consider bringing your pet to work, and allowing your staff to do the same. You might be surprised at how pets’ presence can enhance everyone’s moods!
Con: Serve as a Distraction
Although you and your employees love your pets – their presence at work could become a nuisance. Playing with pets might take away time from work duties, and you can’t forget to feed them and take them outside for bathroom breaks. If you’re concerned about pets affecting your business’s productivity, adopting pet friendly policies might not be the best route to take.
Pro: Save Employees Time and Money
Another major benefit that comes with allowing employees to bring their pets to work is that it will save them time and money. If they can bring their animal to the office, they won’t have to pay for pet care or run home to check on the animal during the day. Employees will appreciate being able to save some money, and it could allow them to occasionally work longer hours if they don’t have to worry about picking up their pet.
Con: Unfair to Non-Animal Lovers
As a pet owner, it might be hard to believe, but some people don’t enjoy this type of companionship. You’ll need to remember that some people could have animal phobias, allergies, or simply don’t want to be around them at work. Before adding animal friendly policies, you should consider hosting a company-wide meeting to discuss it. If you have employees who are apprehensive about it, you probably shouldn’t move forward.
Pro: An Added Employee Perk
Let’s face it – employees want to work for companies that have perks. If there aren’t any, they’ll likely look for new opportunities. Luckily, you might be able to avoid some employee turnover
by letting your staff bring their pets to the office.
In a recent study, 83 percent of employees said they feel more loyalty to a company if it has pet-friendly policies
. This makes sense, as being able to care for their pet during the workday will be a perk they don’t want to lose!
If you decide to allow your employees to bring their pets to work, make sure you encourage them to share about it on social media. When you're ready to recruit additional employees, applicants may be more interested in applying when they see this awesome perk!
Con: Potential for Messiness
Keeping your business clean, organized, and sanitary is crucial. Unfortunately, adding animals to the equation could lead to increased cleaning expenses, and could be a detriment to the upkeep of your office. In addition, you might work in an industry that has specific guidelines to follow and having animals in-house could break those rules.
Is Bringing Your Pet to Work the Right Decision?
After reading this post, we hope that you’re able to decide whether you should allow pets at your business. Although furry friends can add happiness to the workplace, they also require significant time and effort. In addition, you should ensure that this would be a welcomed change, and not one that will make any of your employees feel unsafe or uncomfortable.
Do you allow pets at your business? If so, tell us about your experience in the comment section below! Also, if you're celebrating National Pet Day, share your plans with us as well.
Editor’s Note: This post was updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness in April 2019.