The Rise of Pet-Friendly Workplaces: Benefits and Considerations

“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” — Anatole France.

Who would have thought Anatole’s words would be practical more than a century later? Not just in homes, but in workplaces!

Let’s agree. Offices that were once ruled by the hum of machines and keyboard clacks are slowly being softened by the presence of four-legged companions.

Fortune 500 companies such as Amazon and Google have opened their doors to furry and feathered friends.

This article examines the growing trend of pets in workplaces and considerations. You’ll also learn how pet-friendly workplaces help employees to have:

The Growing Trend of Pet-Friendly Workplaces

National Take Your Dog To Work Day, observed every 21st June, came into existence in 1999. This shows that pet-friendly workplaces have been there for a few decades now. And are on the rise, for all the good reasons. Research shows pets' positive effects on human health and social interaction. For example, according to a 2021 survey by the Human Animal Bond Research Institute, 87% of pet owners report improved mental health.

Companies are more aware of the benefits of pet ownership and have established pet-friendly policies.

Note: Most dog-friendly companies are also cat-friendly and accommodate other pets like rabbits.

Benefits of Pet-Friendly Workplaces

Pet-friendly workplaces benefit both employees and employers. Here are the top benefits:

Improve Employee Well-being

“A dog is a bond between strangers.” —John Steinbeck

There’s no better way to capture the essence of pet-friendly workplaces to employees than with Steinbeck’s words.

Fostering Company Culture and Image

Incorporating a pet-friendly policy in the workplace can significantly enhance company culture and image by:

Did You Know? A survey by the American Pet Products Association established that 55% of pet owners prefer pet-friendly workplaces when considering job offers. It also showed that 50% of non-pet owners might bring a pet to work if the company allows it.

Considerations for Pet-Friendly Workplaces

Two ladies working with their dog

Photo by Ross Sokolovski

Sure, pet-friendly workplaces have benefits to employers and employees. But there should be a few considerations when implementing pet-inclusive policies. This ensures that workplaces are suitable for pet owners, non-pet owners, and pets.

Some factors to consider when implementing pet-friendly policies at workplaces include:

Pets: Health, Safety, and Behavior

Pets should be:

Workplace: Integration and Employee Concerns

Considerations should be put in place for noisy or disruptive pets such as dogs that bark excessively. One way to do this is by setting aside a dog room or training them to be peaceful.
Companies should also limit the number of pets allowed at any one time to prevent overcrowding.
Employees who have pet allergies and phobias should be considered. In such cases, pet spaces (for those who bring pets) come in handy since they accommodate both pet owners and non-owners.
Also, the policy should be inclusive and provide equal access to all employees who wish to bring their pets.

Implementing a pet-friendly workplace policy requires legal considerations and adherence to local regulations in place. The following factors should be considered:

Local regulations governing the workplace should also be factored in. For example:

Pet-Friendly Workplaces Are the New Normal

A lady at work with her pet cat

Photo by Kerri Lee Smith

There’s no doubt that pet-friendly workplaces are today’s go-to spaces. Millennials and Gen Z value work-life balance and a sense of community, which makes a pet-friendly company more attractive to them.

Allowing pets in offices not only enhances a company’s appeal to top talent but also fosters a more productive work environment. commitment to employee satisfaction and a forward-thinking approach to work-life balance.

Pet-friendly workplaces are here to stay and the sooner more companies embrace such policies, the better. We need more compassionate workplaces that help employees know their needs are catered for, and those of their furry buddies.

Nondiah Khalayi

This article was written by Nondiah Khalayi, our cherished author and storyteller hailing from Nairobi.