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Benefits of Pets in the Workplace

Posted by Anna McCarthy on Feb 25, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Man’s best friends are not only cute and cuddly buddies to have around the house, but they can also be extremely beneficial in the office and may even save an employees life. While some companies have had a policy of allowing dogs in the workplace for decades, there is a huge push of companies implementing a new flexible work environment with an open-door policy towards pets.


Since this policy is becoming a nationwide trend, especially in millenial friendly offices, many people are interested in the benefits of pets in the workplace as well as the possible drawbacks. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that having a pet can lead to stress-reducing benefits. It leads to decreases in blood pressure, cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels, and feelings of loneliness, while increasing your opportunities for exercise, outdoor activities, and socialization. This can be extremely beneficial for employees who are stuck inside for long hours at a time, confined to their cubical.

Virginia Commonwealth University also conducted research and published a study in 2012 in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management. The researchers found that the levels of Cortisol (a hormone that measures a person’s stress level) in employees who brought their pets to work was the lowest. Not surprisingly, employees that owned pets but left their pets at home had the highest levels of Cortisol. This is largely due to the fact that most people worry about their pet being home alone. 

Having pets in the workplace does not only lead to health benefits, but research shows it fosters better communication and increases team morale. Through the VCU study, staffers were more inclined to build relationships by interactions brought on by their pets. Wouldn’t you be more willing to befriend that annoying coworker if they had an adorable golden retriever in their office space?


Some employees in the study also found that having a pet around the office increased exercise by helping them get out of their chairs and take a break to walk their dogs or go for a lunch break. This gives them a mental break and time to refresh their minds so they are able to come back to the office with fresh, new ideas. The employees who brought their dogs to work did not have to worry about hiring someone to walk their dogs or leaving their dogs stuck inside during the long workday. This led to a more productive work environment as employees were more inclined to stay longer hours to finish their work since their pets were there with them. These employees were also less likely to take days off and take less vacation time.

Although there are a multitude of benefits of having dogs in the workplace, companies must always take into consideration all of the employees personal preferences and the health implications that comes with pets (phobias, allergies, etc.). However, some companies have found ways around employees with allergies or who are uncomfortable around them, as they have established certain areas as ‘pet-free’ zones. For employees bringing their pets to work, it is imperative that the pets are well trained so they do not cause trouble in the workplace.

Here at Verge Pipe Media, we love having our furry friends sit in on team meetings, but we're not the only ones. Large companies like Google, Ben and Jerry’s, Amazon, Etsy, and Huffington Post also share the pet policy. Having dogs in the office has created a sense of community and comic relief. Overall, the good outweighs the bad in this situation. If the pets in the office are not bothersome or distracting to the owner or other employees then the benefits of having pets in the workplace can increase health, morale, productivity, and satisfaction of employees coming to work. 

While dogs are widely acceptable in pet-friendly offices, cats and other animals are only acceptable in few. But hey, if you want to be at the top you have to run with the big dogs. And if you really want to be at the top, Inbound Marketing can help you get there. Don't worry, Verge Pipe Media has got you covered! Check out this FREE eBook below to learn how to become a pro at Inbound Marketing!

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