Employee wellbeing - something we’ve all had to manage closely as people have been forced to work from home in not just one, but two lockdowns in the UK. Working from home can be lonely and take a toll on people's mental health but one thing that is definitely benefitting employee wellbeing as people have been confined at home is being able to spend more time with their pets.
It begs the question, should companies allow employees to bring their pets to work and create animal friendly environments in an effort to improve employee wellbeing?
A recent study by Nationwide in partnership with the Human Animal Bond Research Institute showed that 90% of employees who worked in a pet friendly environment felt more connected to their company’s mission and more engaged with their work, compared to only 65% of employees in non-pet friendly work environments. Which is a quite compelling argument for bringing Fido to work!
Having a pet in the workplace comes with a range of employee wellbeing benefits, including:
Pets remind people to pause and step back from whatever they are involved in.” They go on to say that pets offer short temporary distractions, such as playtimes, short walks and other mental breaks, including much needed comic relief!
Before instituting a pets-at-work policy there are however a potential problems that should be considered:
Now that you understand the benefits to your employee wellbeing to having an office pet as well as any potential problems, you need to make sure that you have a pet policy in place. HR Daily Advisor recommends you consider the following:
Having pets in the workplace can be a huge asset to your employee wellbeing, as pets are known to reduce stress, benefit mental wellbeing and improve our health in general. Make sure your pet policy is inclusive for all types of animals, not only the more traditional pets like dogs and cats, consider how small rodents, fish or reptiles can also be accommodated.