Last Updated: Monday, October 31, 2016

Should You Allow Pets in the Workplace?


Here in our country, it's rare to see companies that allow pets in the workplace. If there is ever one, you'll only see them in pet-related businesses like animal cafes.

As an animal lover myself, I also want pets as my officemates. My favorite pets are cats, but I'm all okay with other animals too.

My past jobs don't allow pets in the workplace simply because one is a hospital, and the remaining others where I had worked are digital marketing companies.

Though in one of my previous workplaces, I was able to experience "working" with cats. My bosses always brought their pet cats with them. Despite they were the only ones authorized to do so, I was delighted to see cats in the office. In a country where pets at work are rare, that was truly an amazing experience.

Nevertheless, since I am already working from home, I am able to work with cats as much as I like. Meet one of my supervisors, King Maru.

Hooman, I said no Facebook while working!

So as a business owner, should you allow your employees to bring their pets in the workplace? Would it do any good for the entire company?


Why allow pets in the workplace


If your company is not pet-friendly yet, here are some of the reasons on why your company should welcome pets at work:


1. Pets help reduce stress.


Based on a report, pets such as dogs "help buffer work stress and make the job more satisfying" even for non-dog owners. So if your employees' work is demanding and stressful in nature, perhaps allowing Fido at work (or any kind of pet) might give them a motivational boost and lessen their worries.

Every time my writing job stresses me out, just seeing the cuddly face of my pet cats makes my mind feel more at ease. They are also great companions. I can talk with them about my problems at work, and they would just simply stare at me and continue licking their paws. How cute! Lol.


2. Pets encourage conversation among employees.


Sometimes, an office has that awkward atmosphere. Everyone is quiet and not talking.

Just like in my previous job, I worked on a night shift and most of us night shifters didn't talk that much (like me). But when our bosses came in with pet cats, it broke the ice.

Everyone was suddenly talking about cats and other pets. The atmosphere became lively. I even discovered a co-worker who also likes cats.


3. Pets help your employees become more productive.


Have you asked your employees what are their motivation for work? If I could honestly answer this question, my answer would be this:

Image Source

It's funny, but to most animal lovers, this is true.

Aside from being a successful freelance writer, I have big dreams for my pets. I want them to have their own cat yard, be able to give them lots of cat towers, boxes, catnips, toys, and many more.

To most of my friends who are animal lovers, they seem to have better work ethics. They always go to work, no absences and tardiness, and they always do their best!


4. Pets attract good hires in the future.


If you are looking for new hires, then your company being pet-friendly might just be one of your selling points.

One of the reasons why I don't like office jobs is that I'm worried leaving my pets alone in the house. Sure, you can hire a pet-sitter or leave your pets in pet hotels but that would mean more expenses.

But if your company is pet-friendly, more would be interested to apply because they can now save pet-sitting costs.


But there are times that pets in the workplace would be bad.


While the benefits of allowing pets in the workplace sound promising, there are also instances that it would be bad.


1. Not all of your employees may be good at dealing with animals.


Some people just can't really handle animals. They are scared of them.

When my previous bosses brought cats in the office, the cats were pretty behave. They didn't fight or send out irritating meows. However, being cats, they were insanely curious and playful creatures. They would walk behind our computer screens, or even sit on your lap.

And then it happened.

One of my officemates is actually scared of cats. She tried to keep herself composed and ignored the cat who was innocently playing with her long hair.

But alas! I received a message on Skype and she was asking me a favor if I could remove the cat which was stationed behind her back.

So what would happen if your employees are scared of animals?


2. Your employees would have lower productivity.


If any of your employees are scared of animals, they will lose focus in their work; thus, have lower productivity.

I think my officemate was bothered by the cat for almost an hour before she called me to help. So she's been working uncomfortably for almost an hour.

Aside from your employees being scared, they could also have lower productivity if the pets are causing work distractions such as barking, meowing, or if they do this:

King Maru, I know how awesome you are, but would you please step aside?


3. Pets may damage company properties.


Some pets are very well-trained, but even the most behaved pets can damage company properties.

If you bring your pet to a "new" environment like your office, there would definitely be a change in their behavior. Your pet might get scared with the new people around and it would be harder for you to make them listen to you.

Dogs might chew off things to make them feel less nervous. Cats might pee everywhere to mark their new territory. Worse, your pet might be involved in unexpected "fights" knocking things all over the place.



Allowing your employees to bring their pets at work needs a well-thought decision. And if you allow them, make sure that your office would be pet-proofed.

Do you have any experience bringing pets in the workplace? Let me know your thoughts and comment below.

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