As the baby boomer generation retires and Millennials take over the workforce, we’re starting to see a shift in what the traditional office looks like. If you look at coworking spaces in St. Louis, offices are changing the way they operate to not just entice Millennials to come, but for them to stay long term.
The Millennial generation has changed how we think a career should look like. No longer are people staying at the same job for decades on end. Instead, they are switching jobs until they find the right one for them. Having a consistent and steady job is no longer the primary focus. Instead, happiness and satisfaction at work are more important.
So with this drastic shift, companies are looking into different ways to keep their younger workforce satisfied so they stay longer. One new way of doing this is by having a pet-friendly office. Quite often Millennials delay getting married and having a family (or not having one at all) and instead enjoy the company of a furry friend. Having the option to bring their pets to work is an attraction to draw in and hold on to employees.
Here are a few benefits of having a pet-friendly workplace and how to implement it.
Pets Reduce Stress
For the most part, having a pet by your side reduces stress. Their genuine love and affection is hard to resist and begins to seep into your overall mood. Basically, it is hard to not be happy around a pet (quite often a dog).
A study done in 2012 by Virginia Commonwealth University found that those who had their dogs with them at work had less stress throughout the day than those who didn’t have a pet. When we have less stress in a day, it is easier to stay focused on the task at hand without letting the mind wander.
Taking a moment to pet a dog and play with them will actually help reduce that person’s blood pressure. High blood pressure is a crucial factor in numerous health problems and stress is a significant factor for increased blood pressure. But it is not just humans who benefit. The dog on the receiving end of a bet also has a drop in blood pressure.
Potential Productivity Booster
With the reduced stress that a pet brings in, it allows the employee to keep calm and comfortable throughout the workday. When someone is more relaxed, it is easier to stay focused at work. The result, a boost in productivity.
On top of that, employees won’t be worrying about their pets alone at home. Instead, they know their pet is happy lying beside them as they work.
The downfall, though, the pets could be an added distraction to employees. Pets, especially dogs, like to play when humans are around. They crave for attention and some need to be watched continuously. So the reduced stress could come at the cost of being distracted.
So if you are looking at having a pet-friendly office, there are benefits (but some downfalls). Keep in mind that not everyone likes being around animals. There are also allergies to consider, especially with cats and dogs. You’ll want to make sure all the pets that come are vaccinated and not sick as to spread viruses to other pets. But if it works out, you may notice you have a happier office that is more appealing to future employees.