My officemate is a slightly demented 3-year-old. Actually, he’s 15½ and a cat. When he wants something, like dinner, I get an earful of his yowling Siamese heritage. “I want it NOW!” A few minutes later he is likely to forget we’ve been there, done that. But I wouldn’t trade him for even your BFF human co-worker.
Having your pet at work is one the best perks of working at home. But even in traditional workplaces, I’m noticing that an animal at work is becoming more acceptable. At the dentist awhile back, I could feel someone sniffing my foot. Since the hygienist was cleaning my teeth and I assumed the dentist wasn’t admiring my footwear, I wondered what was up. It was the resident Golden Retriever. He was a honey and I imagine having him there is very calming for patients.
I’ve heard all the arguments against having your pets at work; people are allergic, they’re distracting and some people are afraid of dogs/cats. Obviously, some guidelines would be essential. Keep your pet away from fearful and allergic folks and keep him under control so he doesn’t interrupt other’s work.
I think the benefits outweigh the possible downsides. Scientific studies have shown that pets can reduce our stress, bring down blood pressure and people who have pets live longer. Think how great it would be if after a difficult work task, you could take your pooch out for a quick walk? What about having your cat on your lap while you respond to emails?
Small Offices/No Clients
I’m sure pets at work wouldn’t happen in large corporations. Just think of the gyrations legal, risk management and HR would go into! It would make their heads blow up. But if you work in a smaller office, especially one where you don’t receive clients, perhaps you should approach the topic. Maybe in place of “Casual Friday,” you could have “Pet Monday.” You know you’d be less tempted to call in fake sick to avoid Mondays!
This is a post from Jobacle team member Nancy LaFever.