COLORADO SPRINGS — ‘Ruff’ week at the office? A pet can make it better!

Scientific research from the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) consistently shows pets can improve our mood, decrease stress, and provide social support, among other benefits. With the increase of work from home and offices becoming more pet-friendly, people everywhere are experiencing the benefits of working with their pets – whether at home or in office – including improved well-being and productivity.

According to research by Zoetis, the world’s leading animal health company, 89% of employees in pet-friendly workplaces feel their company supports their mental well-being. In recent studies, groups performing a collaborative task with a pet around were more communicative, less closed-off, and cooperated better. They even cited trusting their coworkers more.

According to Zoetis, there are several different tiers of pet inclusivity that can enhance a work environment:

  1. Pet Supportive – offers pet health insurance, pet sitting service, pet care WFH days, or PTO for pet care
  2. Pet-friendly – pets in the office all or some of the time
  3. Pet-friendly plus – allows pets in the office, and offers pet health insurance, pet sitting service, pet care WFH days, or PTO for pet care

Of course, there are important steps to take to ensure the safety of pets and employees alike in the office. Ensuring that pets are up-to-date on vaccinations and other relevant medical necessities, such as requiring only spayed/neutered pets are allowed. Other considerations include preparing the office space to be more pet-friendly, such as moving plants out of reach of animals, containing exposed wires and cords, and cover all trash receptacles.

As for business owners, after getting the necessary approvals from landlords, having employees sign a waiver will ensure that liability doesn’t rest solely on the business, should complications arise. Zoetis also recommends sending out a Pet Health Checklist specifying what your office requires.

As data becomes more widely accepted, and pets are increasingly welcomed into places of business, it’s not hard to imagine their impact on the bigger picture. For more tips on how to implement a pet policy at your workplace, including a downloadable starter kit for your ‘Woofice,’ click here.