Who let the dogs in? A look at pet-friendly workplaces

Source: Christa L Wilkin, Paul Fairlie, Souha R. Ezzedeen, International Journal of Workplace Health Management, Vol. 9 no. 1, 2016
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From the abstract:
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present an overview of the pet-friendliness trend, because despite its growth, there has been little research on the benefits and potential risks of pet-friendly workplaces.

Design/methodology/approach – A general review is provided on pet ownership figures in North America and the benefits and drawbacks of pet ownership. Pet-friendly policies and practices are described, highlighting their potentially positive impact on well-being and performance. Possible concerns with pet-friendly workplaces are examined. The paper offers recommendations for organizations that are potentially interested in becoming pet-friendly.

Findings – Many households in North America have pets that are considered genuine members of the family. As a result, workplaces are increasingly becoming “pet-friendly” by instituting policies that are sensitive to pet ownership. The scope of pet-friendly policies and practices ranges from simple to more complex measures. Adopting these measures can result in benefits that include enhanced attraction and recruitment, improved employee retention, enhanced employee health, increased employee productivity, and positive bottom-line results. But there are also concerns regarding health and safety, property damage, distractions, and religious preferences.

Practical implications – The range of pet-friendly measures could apply to any workplace that is interested in improving their efforts toward recruitment, retention, and productivity, among others.
Who Let The Dogs In? More Companies Welcome Pets At Work
Source: Yuki Noguchi, NPR, All Things Considered, August 8, 2016

14 rules for creating a bring-your-dog-to-work policy
Source: Jennifer Lonoff Schiff, CIO, November 2, 2015
Pet-loving business owners, as well as dog (and cat) experts, share their advice on allowing dogs and other pets at the office.

Pooch at work: a novel stress buster for employees working in stressful environment
Source: Purushottam Bung, Journal of Advances in Business Management, Vol. 2 no. 1, 2016

From the abstract:
Stress is an integral part of every human being. Without stress, life appears to be dull and boring; whereas too much of it can be dangerous. Hans Selye. M.D., a pioneer researcher in ‘stress and stress management’ defines stress as “The nonspecific response of the body to any demand made on it (When external demands exceed resources).” As the fast developing countries like India which are experiencing significant economic progress, the stress levels with which people work in general is also increasing significantly. This has led to sharp rise in the stress related chronic health disorders (Physiological and psychological) like; anxiety disorders, attention deficit, hyperactivity, essential hypertension, epilepsy, headache, insomnia, chronic muscular pain, etc. The conventional stress management techniques/strategies like; aerobics, yoga, meditation, prayer, imagery, self-hypnosis (Autogenic Training), biofeedback, long silent walk, soothing music, etc., have been proved successful yet incomplete. Getting a new friend, i.e. cats and dogs, have proved to be highly stress relieving. Pets provide excellent social support, stress relief and other health benefits – perhaps more than human beings. Firms, especially, which are into service sector can think of keeping these new friends, i.e. cats and dogs (Of selected breed after necessary training) in their work places so that employees can spend some good time with these pets (Hugging, cuddling, stroking and playing), which has proved to be one of the most effective ‘stress busters.’ It does not cost much for the firms to maintain these pets at work places. Whereas benefits derived in terms of reduced stress levels of employees which ultimately make the employees more creative, focused and optimistic is just amazing.

Critters in the cube farm: Perceived psychological and organizational effects of pets in the workplace
Source: Meredith Wells, Rose Perrine, Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, Vol 6 no. 1, January 2001
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From the abstract:
This article reports the findings of an exploratory study examining the perceived functions and psychological and organizational effects of pets in the workplace. Participants were 193 employees from 31 companies allowing pets in the workplace who completed anonymous questionnaires. Results indicated that participants perceived pets in the workplace to reduce stress and to positively affect employee health and the organization. Participants who brought their pets to work perceived greater benefits than participants who did not bring their pets to work and participants who did not own pets.