Getting an office pet is a big decision that can result in some big benefits!
There are countless reasons why having an animal around you, your employees, and your clients can help improve business from day to day. In honor of April being National Pet Month, we’re going to explore 7 reasons to bring an animal aboard. The best part? We can personally speak to every single one (see above photo of our mischievous mascot). You never know… we just might inspire you to scurry down to your local animal shelter to meet the newest member of your team— in which case, you’re welcome!
1. Office pets promote good health for you and your employees.
It’s true… animals really are good for us! In fact, having one around the office promotes a happy work environment, which is known to reduce stress. Don’t believe us? There are dozens of medical studies out there to prove that having animals around make us happier and healthier. Holding a cat close to you as it purrs, for example, has been linked to calming the nervous system (similar to a bear hug— no animal pun intended). Other studies have found that simply petting a dog can decrease your heart rate and blood pressure. How does this benefit you as an employer? Simply put, good health = less sick days and call-offs. Yes, please!
2. Office pets improve productivity.
You’ve probably heard by now that employees who take at least one break during the workday perform better than those who don’t. A long lunch or small breaks throughout the day allows employees to destress and return to their desk feeling calm and refreshed. As a result, the quality of work they produce might even improve.
In 2018, Forbes Contributor, Alan Kohll, explained that, “without taking adequate breaks from work, employee productivity, mental well-being, and overall work performance begin to suffer.” Here at Asen, we cherish our “mini mental breaks” with Bob, our beloved office cat. Want to be super efficient like us? Head down to your local shelter now, thank us later.
3. Office pets reduce turnover (which helps employers save on costly training).
If you really think about it, this one’s a no-brainer. An office pet is like bait for animal-loving employees. Many of them will develop a special bond with the animal (and quickly, if they’re anything like us), which will give them a new reason to enjoy coming to work. Employees who enjoy their work environment are internally motivated to stay put longer. I mean, leaving a company is one thing, but saying ‘goodbye’ to an adorable little creature? Unimaginable!
4. Office pets strengthen existing relationships.
Like kids and vacations, animals make for a great talking point. Not only between you and your team, but between you and your clients as well. Clients that have animals at home or work will love that you’ve decided to hop on the office-pet-bandwagon. 5 minutes chatting about the new office rabbit may not feel like a big deal, but it’s the personal connections we make with our clients that strengthen the relationships most.
5. Office pets help develop new relationships.
Similarly, potential clients are often impressed with the idea of an office pet (especially those who don’t have one themselves). They tend to see it as an act of “morale” and appreciate the culture it brings to the office. Truth is, having an animal says a lot about you as an employer, without actually having to say anything at all.
Just remember to keep your office clean and the animal restrained until you’re able to determine if the client wants to be around it. Some may be allergic or simply prefer not to interact with it.
6. Office pets double as a fun team-building activity.
At Asen, everybody takes care of Bob. We all work together to make sure our furry friend is happy, healthy, and loved. Caring for an animal teaches employees the importance of collaboration and shared responsibility. Like co-parenting, everyone works together to make sure the animal is kept out of harm’s way. Your employees will depend on you to care for the animal, and you’ll depend on your employees to do the same. But most importantly, the animal will depend on all of you, so make sure everyone understands that it’s a big commitment!
7. Office pets improve brand perception.
Last but certainly not least, rescuing an office pet is a great way to improve your overall brand image. By that, we mean people will view your company more positively because you saved a life. It sounds cheesy, but rescuing an animal is an act of compassion and generosity. And since we probably aren’t the only people in the world who view it that way, it’s an easy way to rake in some good press.
You might even consider introducing the newest member of your team with a creative, post-adoption company press release— similar to one you’d release for any other new hire. Or, if you’re like us, you can put the animal’s face on literally every piece of branding possible. The website, social media, mailers, stickers… heck, you could even blog about it (if you’re truly convinced office pets are the future of good workplace culture).
So, how’d we do?
Are you ready to promote good health, boost productivity, reduce turnover, strengthen client and prospect relationships, strengthen your team, and improve your company’s brand image? Then head down to your local shelter and get to pickin’! When you rescue an animal AND simultaneously improve your business, you can’t go wrong.
*But remember… bringing an animal aboard is no small commitment.*
We all love how cute they are, but consider all aspects of pet ownership before making the final decision. Budget for the animal ahead of time. Schedule regular vet visits. Plan for weekends and holidays off (hooray for automatic feeders and employees who live nearby!). Even though there are endless benefits to having an office pet, it’s a lifelong responsibility that should be taken very seriously.
Already have an office pet you’re nuts about?
Our team members are eager to learn and passionate about growth — not just for our partners, but for themselves and their fellow teammates. Oh, and they love to have fun. Enjoy a peak behind the scenes of Asen.