The longer you stare at a computer screen, the easier it is to get sidetracked and daydream of a tropical island where your only concern is whether or not the straw will reach the bottom of your hollowed out coconut. It’s for this reason droves of businesses continually probe the annals of productivity research, desperately searching for that golden egg that will up efficiency and keep workers working. Luckily, we have pets.
Not only is it common practice that pets are allowed in our office, but encouraged. Certain areas of the office are specifically set up for dogs such as the small set of pet stairs that lead up to a bedding area for the furry little guys.
As a small craft communications firm employing around eight people, the office space is primarily set up for creativity and comfort. Our reasoning for allowing pets in the work place can pretty much be summed up in four areas:
• Health & Productivity – Whether it happens to be your pet or another employees’, taking a short 15 minute dog walk in the park along the shores of Lake Erie can do wonders for upcoming productivity levels during the next hour. But it’s not only the increased work output that we’re concerned about, it’s the personal health. We’ve found that at least a half hour of physical movement per day significantly increases energy levels.
• Mood & Morale – Anyone who is familiar with pets knows that just looking at them can immediately alter your mood – they’re always smiling. One of the biggest problems we’ve seen in past jobs is that office morale, especially after lunch and early in the week, can decrease drastically. Having pets lounge around pleading for attention can curb this negative morale, flipping a bad work afternoon on its head. Simply put, pets are happy, so why shouldn’t we be?
• Client Icebreakers – Every business person knows the feeling all too well. Meeting a new client for the first time trying to break that awkward silence with something that’s witty and thoughtful, but not too much so. Something that will catch their attention and make them remember you, but not appear to desperate. Pets fix this problem. Right off the bat all of the new meeting tension falls squarely upon the pooch, and you don’t even have to set him or her up with a 401k.
• Internal Interaction – Office environments can become stale in a matter of minutes. One minute there’s a nice balance of productive banter and swift keystrokes, next thing you know, everyone’s zoned out playing Words with Friends and looking at FaceBook. Once again, our four legged friends provide a nice transition from productivity to purposeful playtime. Instead of social media zombie eyes, you’ll get a quick five minute pet session because multiple employees happen to simultaneously take notice of how cute the office dog is being.
So there you have it – make room for a few pets in the office and productivity will almost certainly increase, leaving you more time to plan a trip and put your feet in the sand.