Did you know that almost 87 million homes in the US have a pet? Obviously, these animals are an integral part of our lives. And companies large and small are starting to allow office pets in their spaces.
As an animal enclosure manufacturer, we have upwards of 30 pets at our Serenity office, and we care for and cherish each of them. Also, very large companies like Amazon and Google have taken notice, and they gladly allow pets around their campuses.
But why would these massive, hyper-efficient companies let a distracting pet in the office? We’ll tell you here, so keep reading!
Why You Should Have an Office Pet
A study by Dr. Meredith Wells-Lepley and Dr. Rose Perrine at USC sought to discover the benefits of pets in the office. Across the 31 companies studied, most employees reported less stress, improved health, and increased job satisfaction and morale after animals were introduced.
But what are the best office pets? And what should you consider before bringing animals into your office?
From loveability to low maintenance, here are 7 recommendations for the best pets for the office!
As a “man’s best friend”, dogs are obvious contenders for the best office pet. Dogs are the most popular family pet by a wide margin, present in about 65 million US households.
Their chipper attitudes make them excellent pets to be around. Take our wonderful office dog, Luna (pictured above), for example. She never fails to put a smile on our faces as she trots around the office to say good morning, or makes random visits to our desks throughout the day.
Now, what if employees at your office could be welcomed by an excitable doggo? Or bring their own dogs to work? Studies show that companies with dogs on site can see benefits like less employee stress, higher job satisfaction, boosted productivity, and more positive interactions with coworkers. And we can attest to that!
If you’re looking for a relatively low-maintenance office pet, cats might be the perfect choice.
Cats are the second most popular pet in the US, living in about 47 million homes. With their independent nature and calming presence, cats can bring a sense of tranquility to a family at home, as well as coworkers at the office.
For example, Business Insider wrote about the Dutch company, Wallaart & Kusse Public Affairs, which adopted a cat for their office (and named her Sammie). They mention Sammie’s funny antics, how she naturally brightens moods, and how caring for her as a group has improved team spirit.
If you’re looking for a very low-maintenance pet for the office, consider an office fish tank! While there is less interaction involved, pet fish in the office have shown a number of benefits, like feeling less stressed, more productive, and more creative.
Many aquariums in offices are placed in workspaces, break rooms, communal areas, lobbies, cafeterias, and more. Now, you may be thinking that cleaning an aquarium isn’t “very low maintenance”. And you’d be right!
That’s why we offer aquarium services for businesses; Everyone gets the benefits of a clean fish tank, without the extra work.
Lizards, geckos, bearded dragons, and other reptiles may be more unconventional pets for the office, but docile lizards can be a great addition to the team. Just keep in mind, they are generally secluded and may not love interacting with the office staff (at least until it gets comfortable there).
Most lizards are comfortable in relatively small spaces, so a lizard enclosure can fit well in almost any office. And if you’re okay with little interaction from your office pet, a friendly lizard is an excellent choice.
These pets are long-lived, low maintenance, fun to watch, feed, and even hold if they’re comfortable enough. Plus, a lizard is an uncommon office pet, so it’s a great conversation starter for guests and employees.
Hamsters are another animal that you might not hold and pet too often, but their presence can create a more relaxed work environment. If someone needs a second away from the computer screen, they could unwind and visit their furry friend (probably running 100mph on his wheel). And considering they’re easy to care for and inexpensive, they’re a great option for an office pet.
If you want to go above and beyond; Set up a hamster enclosure with a series of tubes that branch around the office. Your office hamster will get plenty of entertainment running around and visiting your team members. But whether you create “Hamster City” or not, a small, giddy pet in the office is a definite serotonin booster.
Birds are an overlooked option as office pets. A large and loud bird like a parrot may not be the best fit for an office. But a spacious bird aviary with a collection of finches and canaries is more easily done.
The simple sights and sounds of birds have been shown to induce relaxation and improve our mental wellbeing. One way or another, chirping birds remind us of nature, and the summer season in particular. This connection is a possible reason our mental health improves when hearing and seeing them. And when mental wellbeing improves, there’s a chance that the quality and productivity of work do as well.
Like office fish tanks, you won’t have to worry about regular care and maintenance. Our aviary services handle cleaning, feeding, and more for commercial aviaries across the US. So, you and your team can sit back and enjoy your new friends.
The final office pet on our list is none other than the friendly bunny rabbit. These adorable, playful, and curious animals are premium serotonin boosters. Bunnies are not as messy as you would think, either. They’re relatively clean pets and they can even be trained to use a little box.
Seeing your office bunny hop around and visit your team will definitely improve some moods. Rabbits are surprisingly long-lived, typically around 8 to 12 years old. They’re also intelligent, social with humans, and generally easy to care for. So at #7 on our list, a bunny is still one of the best pets for the office.
Considerations for Office Pets
Additional Time Needed for Care
If you have a designated office pet, it may be hard to allocate time to clean their space and care for them. Dogs will need to be walked, cats will need their litter box changed, hamsters will need their cage cleaned, and so on.
In a fast-paced business environment, time is priceless. Regardless of the benefits they bring, you shouldn’t get office pets if you don’t have the time to care for them. This could cause added stress on your team and your pet.
For example, people underestimate the work it takes to clean and maintain a fish tank. The water gets dirty, fish may get sick and pass away, and the whole display becomes an eyesore. But you can avoid this by finding a professional service company to care for it.
The Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery stated that about 10-20% of human adults are allergic to cats–And that’s only cats–Employees’ allergies may be an issue for many different animals.
Health and safety are the keys to having pets in the office. So, if you’re looking to bring in one or multiple animals, check with your whole team first to ensure everyone is comfortable with it.
Damage to Property
If you ever had a pet, you’ve probably seen some destructive behavior at some point. Chewing, biting, scratching, knocking into things, and stealing food and other items are some unpredictable tendencies common with cats and dogs, in particular.
Yet, more companies, healthcare facilities, and nursing homes are adopting pets and allowing workers to bring their own. So, it looks like the benefits are outweighing the costs.
Regardless, if damage to property is a primary concern, a smaller pet that’s content in an enclosure may be best. Thankfully, fish, birds, hamsters, bunnies, and lizards all check this box!
Pets in the office can transform your workplace into a haven of joy, productivity, and reduced stress levels. From the unwavering loyalty of dogs to the enchanting sounds of birds, each pet brings its unique charm.
Remember, when considering office pets, it’s important to consider factors like maintenance, allergies, and the overall comfort of everyone in the workplace. When you get your whole team on board, your colleagues will thank you, and there’s a high probability that workdays will become more enjoyable.