Will allowing pets in the workplace boost productivity and morale?
Soon after he introduced the assembly line, Henry Ford shocked the automotive industry again by adopting a five-day, 40-hour week for workers.
Before that time, employees worked 9-hour shifts, 6 to 7 days a week. Although he later admitted the shorter workweek was instituted to increase productivity, Ford Motor Company set a model countless others would follow.
Not only did the move increase productivity as expected, it also fostered a sense of company loyalty and pride among workers on the assembly line.
Nearly 90 years later, companies across the country are taking a page out of Henry Ford’s book. In order to increase company loyalty in the era of job hopping, many now allow and even encourage employees to bring their pets to work. Why?
A sluggish economy and poor job security have conspired to crush the average American’s enjoyment at work. Less than half of working adults now say they are satisfied with their jobs.
Not surprisingly, turnover rates are at historically high levels as companies are having a harder time getting people to stick around.
The solution? Increase job satisfaction by improving the work environment. One of the best, most cost-effective ways to do just that is to let employees bring their pets to work.
Several recent studies have found that people who bring Fido or Fluffy to work are far more focused and centered all day long. The reason? Because simply being around a beloved pet can greatly reduce our levels of stress. But that’s not all! The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) also reports that pets can decrease our blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
And when we take them out for a walk on our lunch break, we get some much-needed exercise, which makes us healthier as well.
With numerous benefits and few, if any, drawbacks, you would expect more companies to permit pets at work. Sadly, that is not the case. A recent survey of current employees found that only around one in five companies welcomes cats and dogs.
With that said, a growing number of America’s top employers are embracing this healthy trend. Here are a few of our favorites.
It should come as no surprise to anyone that a company famous for innovation has an open, welcoming work environment. This extends to cats and dogs though Google openly states that it prefers dogs to cats.
We’re not sure why that is, but canines have been an important part of their workplace culture for years.
There are, however, several rules employees must follow. First, they have to get approval from their manager. This is mostly to ensure that no one in the area has pet allergies or other problems with animals.
Pets are also restricted to working areas and can be banned for making messes or displaying aggressive behavior.
The largest online retailer on Earth actually added a dog park to its new Seattle campus in hopes that employees would bring their pooches to work. There are even canine drinking fountains around the campus, and all reception desks are stocked with boxes of dog biscuits.
Once again, cats may be permitted at Amazon, but there are no special exercise areas or amenities for our feline friends.
If we didn’t know any better, we’d think dogs worked for this popular social game service company, not people. In addition to a dog park on the roof (called the “wooftop”) and an outdoor lunch area (called the “barking lot”), Zynga offers medical insurance for employees’ pets.
Given that the company logo is the owner’s dog, this friendly attitude towards pets is no surprise.
American Kennel Club
It’s nice to know this organization practices what it preaches and welcomes pets in its offices. However, there are several hard and fast rules employees must abide by.
For example, all dogs must be at least six months old and hold a Canine Good Citizen certificate to gain access to their Raleigh, N.C. headquarters.
All of the aforementioned companies report that they have seen a positive improvement in levels of job satisfaction and productivity since they invited our furry friends inside.
We can only hope that more companies follow their lead.
How Can Pets Boost Productivity and Morale?
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