Boosting engagement and culture is crucial in fast-paced work environments and a top priority for HR and leaders. While various strategies have been explored, one often overlooked avenue is the inclusion of animals in the workplace. Interacting with our furry friends has a profound impact on our mental well-being, offering stress relief, improved mood, and increased productivity. Animals at work positively impact culture, engagement, and well-being. Explore the benefits ahead of World Animal Day.
The Power of Animal Interaction:
Animal interactions have proven positive effects on mental well-being, reducing stress, anxiety, and depression, as per the American Psychological Association. The presence of animals releases oxytocin, the “feel-good” hormone, which promotes feelings of trust, empathy, and social connection. As the saying goes, “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” These words by Anatole France highlight the deep emotional bond that can be fostered through animal companionship. Bringing animals to the workplace enables employees to experience firsthand benefits, fostering increased engagement and a positive work culture.
Shifting Business Perspectives:
Forward-thinking companies have recognized the immense value of animal-friendly policies in the workplace. Organizations such as Google, Amazon, and Airbnb have embraced this trend, allowing employees to bring their furry companions to work. These progressive policies have not only improved employee morale but also elevated company culture. Employees feel a greater sense of satisfaction, loyalty, and connection to their workplace, leading to increased productivity and overall well-being. Harvard Business Review documents that companies with pet-friendly policies experience higher employee retention rates and attract top talent.
Ensuring Inclusivity and Safety with Animals at the Workplace:
Implementing an animal-friendly policy requires careful consideration to ensure the safety and comfort of all employees. To address potential challenges, companies can adopt measures such as designated pet-free zones, clear guidelines on animal behavior expectations, and thorough allergy awareness campaigns. Regular training programs can educate employees on responsible pet ownership, including socialization and obedience. Open channels of communication are vital, allowing any concerns or issues to be addressed promptly. By taking these steps, businesses can strike a balance that accommodates both animal lovers and those who may have reservations or allergies.
Animals at Workplace can Implement and Cultivate Engagement:
The implementation of an animal-friendly policy can be approached step-by-step, ensuring a smooth transition. One option is to start with a “Pet Friday” initiative, where employees are allowed to bring their pets to work once a week. This controlled introduction provides an opportunity to gauge reactions, address any concerns, and gradually build a positive work environment for both humans and animals. To further create engagement and community, consider celebrating World Animal Day on October 4th with a digital challenge focused on employees’ pets. By partnering with a platform like atlasGO, you can run a charity challenge where employees log wellbeing activities with their pets, maybe even in the support of an animal friendly charity. This fosters a sense of shared purpose, teamwork, and camaraderie, enhancing employee engagement and well-being.
You have the power to transform your workplace by reaping the undeniable benefits of including animals in the workplace. By allowing your employees to bring their furry friends to work, your business can witness a transformative impact on employee engagement, company culture, and overall productivity. We at atlasGO are happy to support you with ideas on how to make this happen. Interested to see atlasGO in action? Book a demo or just send us your questions, we are happy to help!
Written by Olivier Kaeser