Pets in the Workplace: Pros & Cons

By August 11, 2014 November 9th, 2017 Your Office

dogAre you considering transforming your workspace into a pet-friendly environment? If so, that’s great! The presence of pets can create a more relaxed atmosphere and provide comfort to stressed employees. However, before you decide on allowing pets, consider the pros and cons of having an animal in the office.



  • ·Employee Satisfaction: According to WebMD, a pet provides the owner with a number of health benefits including lower blood pressure and a decrease in depression/anxiety. Office pets can improve your employees’ moods and create a more enjoyable work environment. Studies show employees with office pets are more productive and generally happier.
  • ·Attractive Office Environment: Adopting a pet-friendly policy may make your company appear more attractive to potential employees and/-or customers. Pet owners working for you will feel less anxious about leaving their lonely pet at home for an extended period of time. Additionally, pet-loving customers will enjoy bringing in their pet for an office visit (and maybe a doggy treat).
  • ·Improved Work Environment: An office pet can provide employees with a good conversation starter, breaking the ice for coworkers who are more withdrawn and shy. It also may contribute to a decrease in employee absenteeism, as a pet-friendly office creates a more enjoyable work environment.


  • ·Distraction: While studies show that an office pet may increase employee productivity, that’s not always the case. Sometimes a pet can be a huge distraction, preventing employees from getting their work done in a timely manner. Distracting pets often demand constant attention or create a lot of noise (barking, meowing, etc.). Pets with a good disposition display signs of independence and will remain quiet throughout the workday. Develop a pet-policy that defines the characteristics of an office-approved pet to prevent employees from bringing in “distracting” pets.
  • ·Allergies:  Allergies can create a miserable work environment for some employees. If you operate out of a smaller space, pets may become a problem for your more allergy-prone employees. Consult with your employees before adopting a pet-policy.
  • ·Not Everyone Likes Pets: Not all employees will be pet-lovers. Some may be against bringing pets into the office for various reasons. Be mindful of these employees. You want to create a more productive and relaxing work environment, not one that will make others uncomfortable. You may want to change your pet-policy to reduce the number of pets allowed in the office or restrict pet-access to one day of the week.
  • ·Damage: Accidents will happen. Fido may get a little excited and piddle on the office carpet. Or Sally, the office cat, will knock over coffee mugs in the break room. When adopting a pet-policy, be aware that damage may happen. Check with your landlord or building owner before bringing in pets. You may also want to consider purchasing an insurance policy that covers pet property damage.

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