Benefits of a Furry Friend at Work
Today, my cat Jack was tapping me with his paw, right as I was frustrated that I was dealing with spotty internet service due to the pouring rain. I looked down into his eyes, which were fully dilated, and signaled to me that he needed something. As I got up from my chair he started to run towards his food bowl, so, I knew he was hungry. He's always hungry!
Getting up from my desk, also prompted me to notice that I hadn't eaten lunch yet, and I had been really needing to go to visit the bathroom.
After I finished lunch and headed back to my desk, I noticed that Jack had jumped into my chair. I giggled a little, called him my "Project Manager" and moved him from the chair to another one near me. He sat up and stared at me for a little while and then finally settled down in his usual rolled up cat circle.
Now you might say that since I work from a home office that it's easy to have a pet at work. I recalled today though when a company I had worked for was going through a lot of downsizing, cutting salaries and basically everyone was shell shocked as to when the next shoe was going to drop. They hired a new area manager and she had an idea to bring in her new Golden Retriever puppy as our office pet in hopes it would be a morale booster.
And he was!
He would visit different parts of the office in the morning as his way of saying "hello" to everyone. People would take turns taking him out for walk - which also, fell in line with a new wellness program that the company was promoting. Staff would take funny photos of him and talk about how he impacted their day.
In an article from Inc.com, they cited that a 2012 study performed by Virginia Commonwealth University, found that employees that brought their dogs to work accumulated less stress throughout the day.
Now of course, a company has to be careful and look into what employees may be allergic to cats or dogs before introducing them in their organization.
Nestle Purina shares some great benefits:
1. Pets reduce stress
2. Pets trigger work interactions that may not normally take place - like a conversation with someone.
3. Pets need to relive themselves, so that means someone has to take them for a walk.
4. Pets influence the power of touch.
5. Pets improve our productivity.
There are work environments that having a pet present may not be a good idea - like a retail store, restaurant, or other industries where there is a lot of interaction with the general public.
Lastly, you can also have a lot of fun creating memes with your office pet! See what I created on left. :-)
Does your company allow pets? What are their rules for bringing pets? Would you like to have a pet mascot at work?
Jennifer Schultz is the CEO and Founder of RecruitmentQueen.com
She has over 15 years of experience in helping employers find the right hires and guiding job seekers through training and coaching. She has planned and hosted over 45 career fairs, employer summits and job seeker focus groups and is dedicated to seeing more people in Bucks County find careers or start on the path to a new one.
She also has a mommy blog, The Mommy Brief, that she tries to write on from time to time. :-)