We all know that pets can make us feel better. But did you know that bringing your pet into the office can actually make everyone else in your office feel better, too?
While it may seem counterintuitive to bring a creature that's adorably distracting into an environment where people are trying to focus on their work, research shows that bringing your dog or cat into the workplace has some very real benefits.
Taking your pet to work can be a big stress reliever, especially if you find yourself continuously under pressure and needing breaks. By bringing a home comfort into your workspace, you may find yourself a little more at ease when carrying out your daily tasks and may find it useful to have some form of additional support from your pet (meaning you can sneak a quick cuddle from them when things start looking tough). Pets provide companionship, which can be especially beneficial for people who are alone or isolated from others in their lives, including office spaces that are hard to mingle in.
If you have an open cubicle or shared office space, make sure that there’s enough room for the animal to move around freely without knocking over anything or getting into trouble.
Another way pets can have a great impact on your mental health in the office is through their need for exercise throughout the day. Many workers may not feel so encouraged to go outside and fit some physical activity into their work routine, so this is the perfect excuse to get some fresh air and reset your mind before the second half of your day begins. This can also provide a great opportunity to explore your surroundings, and notice nature surrounding your office that you may have previously ignored. Even in big cities, there are some amazing pet friendly spaces that can help you look around your outside environment with your furry friend.
Your co-workers who may not have a pet themselves or those that want to walk their dogs too might jump in and ask to come along, which can provide an environment for you and your colleagues to bond better, with the dogs being a solid facilitator.
Following on from point 3, pet-friendly offices can create an environment where people feel more comfortable speaking their minds and being open with each other. This makes it easier for them to collaborate on projects and come up with creative solutions to problems that arise in day-to-day operations. It also helps foster stronger relationships between employees since pets are known for being non-judgemental listeners who provide unconditional love no matter how much work stress you're under.
Better communication in the office can also help circulate more ideas on how to make the office environment better for everyone involved, whether that’s introducing more benefits like bringing your pet to work, or any little changes people would like to see in the work environment overall.
Helps with creativity flow
A relaxed mind can help to come up with more initiative and creative ideas in the workplace and can come up with more solutions to solve problems than if under immense stress and pressure. By having a pet around, whether on your lap to have something to pet whilst you think, or having a more positive energy in the office itself, they can allow you to open your mind up more to your work and begin to explore areas you may never have considered.
Not only could this benefit you, but your colleagues may also benefit from a different presence in the office. Often pets can get conversation flowing in the office and creating that initial flow of conversation can lead to some great brainstorming sessions.
Reduced Sick Days
Whilst sick days are inevitable, especially during cold months or those with pre-existing medical conditions, many take sick days off work to cater towards their mental health rather than physical health. Mental health is becoming more and more of a prominent focus in modern day work environments, so this can be a great way to help those in the office who suffer with anxiety.
Pets are also known to be a great mood booster and having that increase in serotonin can make all the difference in mental health, especially when knowing you can take your best friend to work with you.
When taking your pet into work, make sure you’re also providing them with everything they need as this will be a new environment for them too – making sure there are benefits going both ways between you and your pet is paramount! Having all the essentials in a travel-friendly bag if you commute or leaving anything big like beds in a safe space in the office will help ensure the both of you are getting the most out of your new routine.