Pet-friendly work places are becoming more and more common as large companies such as Google and Amazon begin welcoming employee’s pets to the work place. While having pets in the workplace is often considered a benefit, it can also open the door to further issues.

Pros

Relieve stress
Many studies over the years have shown the positive effect pets have on relieving stress in the workplace. Employees who had their pets around had lower stress levels when compared to workers who did not bring their pets to work. Pets that are brought into the office have helped their owners feel more comfortable and relaxed. Less stress often leads to higher productivity.

Eliminate pet care costs
Employees who need to leave their pets at home may be forking out for pet groomers, pet walkers, pet minders and pet sitters. By allowing staff to bring in their pets, they can save money on caring for their pets which is another source of stress relief.

Improve company image
As more companies adopt a pet-friendly policy, businesses who do too will improve their image in the eyes of potential pet-owning employees. Having pets in the office can also make the company seem more forward thinking, something that younger employees will no doubt be on the lookout for.

Increase employee satisfaction
Pet-friendly workplaces drive interaction and communication between employees, resulting in increased teamwork and incidental collaboration. Not only does having pets at work improve the workplace culture, it can also improve employee’s work-life balance. Employees who leave their pets at home may feel the need to rush home to walk or feed them, this stress and concern can often spill over during work hours.

Cons

Distractions
Pets require attention and without it, may disrupt the office or other pets. Barking, crying and playing is not quiet and while some employees may work better with the distractions, not everyone will.

Allergies
Some staff may suffer from allergies and will not be able to be around pets. Pet-free spaces will need to be created for anyone who needs to be away from the animals. The same goes for those who have phobias and cannot be near them.

Damage
As always when it comes to having animals around, there is the potential for damage to occur. Anything from the occasional accident to chewing on computer and phone cables can be costly and disruptive to the entire office.

If you’re going to start allowing pets into your office, put together a pet policy that employees must follow to avoid any of the cons. Consider each employee’s feelings towards the issue before you put that policy into place.