Bringing furry friends to work: Is it OK?

Published on : 19th April 2023

Bringing furry friends to work: Is it OK?

Pets have long been appreciated for the companionship, attachment and sense of loyalty they provide. Studies have shown they significantly reduce stress and are good for well-being. With the pandemic forcing many office workers to work from home, some were able to enjoy the best of both worlds by combining being with their pets and working productively.


As people return to the office, many employers are looking for ways to make the transition more attractive and retain people. One incentive is allowing individuals to bring their pets to work.


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The benefits



The benefits of allowing pets in the office are numerous. For many, bringing their pets to work can significantly reduce stress, increase job satisfaction, and even boost productivity.


Pets can also help create a more chilled and friendly work environment, making it easier for teams to build relationships and collaborate with their colleagues.



The employers perspective



From an employer's perspective, a pet-friendly workplace can help attract and retain top talent and improve morale and engagement. It can also help create a positive company culture and enhance the overall image of the company.






However, there are also some challenges to consider when allowing pets in the office. Allergies, distractions, and potential liability issues are just a few of the concerns that employers need to address.


Additionally, some team members may not be comfortable around pets or may have their own pets that are not well-behaved.



The need for policies



By creating clear policies and guidelines for bringing pets to work, employers can ensure a safe and productive work environment for all. Some companies have designated pet-free zones or require pets to be trained and vaccinated before bringing them to the office.



Leading examples


Here are examples of progressive companies that are allowing pets in the office to encourage their people to return to the workplace.


Amazon: Amazon has a "Pawternity Leave" policy that allows new pet owners to take paid time off to care for their new pets. Amazon also allows pets in the office, provided they are well-behaved and don't disrupt the workplace.


Airbnb: Airbnb has a dog-friendly policy that allows employees to bring their dogs to work. Airbnb's offices are designed to accommodate dogs, with features such as dog runs and indoor play areas.


Google: Google has a "Dog Policy" that allows employees to bring their dogs to work. Google's dog-friendly policy has been in place for several years and has been shown to boost employee morale and productivity.


Salesforce: Salesforce has a "Bring Your Pet to Work Day" policy that allows employees to bring their pets to work once a month. Salesforce also has a dog-friendly policy that allows well-behaved dogs in the office on a regular basis.


In addition to these corporates, many Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and micro businesses are taking a leaf out of their books and doing the same.



As companies continue to adopt innovative and progressive policies, allowing staff to bring their pets to work can be a great way to attract and retain top talent. By balancing the benefits and challenges, companies can create a pet-friendly workplace that benefits both workers and employers.