The Pros and Cons of Pets in the Workplace


Not too long ago, the idea of allowing employees to bring their pets to work would probably have raised some eyebrows. These days, however, employers are working to allow more flexibility and comfort in the workplace, and at many companies, that has meant allowing their staff to bring their pets to work.


Of course, some people love this idea, and some people don’t. But how can you go about making the right decision for your office?


Today, we’re highlighting some of the pros and cons of allowing pets in the workplace.




Decreases stress. For many people, having an animal around, especially a beloved pet, helps them to minimize or manage stress. Creating a comfortable, home-like environment can help employees better enjoy their time at the office. 


Brings practical benefit to pet owners.For pet owners, the ability to bring their pet to work is a practical benefit. Without this benefit, they may either have to leave the pet at home alone (which could cause destruction or behavioral problems), or they have to pay for pet daycare or a similar service, which could get expensive. Bringing a pet to work gives pet owners one less thing to worry about. 


Attracts certain employees. Because it can be such a big benefit, the ability to bring your pet to work could attract more employees, working in your favor in terms of recruiting and hiring. With companies vying for top talent in a competitive job market, any and all additional benefits can help. 


Creates “modern” image. If you want your company to be seen as “progressive” or “forward-thinking,” allowing pets in the workplace is a great way to do it. This is a modern benefit for today’s generation of workers, and it can potentially create a good image for your company. 


Encourages breaks. Regular breaks can help increase productivity and morale in the workplace. Allowing pets in the workplace encourages pet owners to take regular breaks to allow their animals to exercise or relieve themselves. In this way, pets in the workplace serve as a built-in reminder to employees that they need to regularly step away from their desks. 




Creates distraction. Let’s face it: animals can be distracting. Whether they’re making noise, sniffing shoes, eating loudly, or wanting to play, animals can cause a major distraction for everyone in the office. 


Hurts those suffering from allergies. Some people have serious allergies to animals. As much as pet owners might love having their pet at work with them, other people may not be able to do their best work when animals are around, simply because they’re physically miserable!


Can create liability. It’s highly unlikely that anyone would bring a pet to work if that pet could potentially harm someone. That said, some pets get nervous in new environments or around new people, and may behave differently as a result. Unfortunately, this could end up with someone getting hurt, which could create a liability for you and/or your employees.


Can cause destruction/mess. Even well-behaved pets can cause messes. Whether they’re chewing up papers or furniture legs, scratching at the carpet, or having an accident in the break room, pets can create messes that require costly replacements or extensive cleanup. 


Requires permission from building owners. If you are renting your office space, you’ll need to get permission from the building owners before allowing pets into your workplace. Depending on your arrangement and relationship, some landlords may not allow it.


Related: Team Building Ideas that Employees are Actually Excited About


Clearly, there are pros and cons to allowing pets in the workplace. Whether or not it would be a good decision for you depends on your employees, your office, and your own preference. Use this list to help you determine if allowing pets in the workplace is something you’d like to explore.

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