Employees are beginning to bring their pets to work on a regular basis and companies are adapting to the trend.
Traditionally, Americans have had family pets who either stay in a kennel at home or wandered freely, but these animals never ventured into the workplace. Now, American workers are seeing companies open their doors to their beloved, furry friends.
Co-working spaces, offices where freelancers and work-from-home employees pay to reserve office space, have really led the charge with pet-friendly spaces and flexible rules. Major cities including New York City and Los Angeles have co-working spaces that allow employees and clients to bring pets to work, rather than leave them home during the day and during their long commutes.
These spaces are optional use and do not have permanent employees so their ability to provide pet-friendly leniency is easy. But, corporations, especially office and cubicle-based businesses are beginning to allow dogs, regardless of their service-dog status, to join their people on their 9 to 5 grind.
DeskMag reports that Seattle company, Office Nomads, has allowed dogs in the office. Office Nomads reported no productivity increase, but morale was at a noticeable high.
Pets can easily be seen as a negative distraction, but some professionals report them as a beneficial tool when taking breaks. Animals in the workplace serve as anxiety-relievers for many, and for others it is more practical than leaving them home.
According to Office Nomads, the best pet-friendly office is achieved when animals friendly, well-trained and kept on leashes or leads within eyesight. A popular alternative to the trend is to only allow pets on certain occasions and days of the week.
However, due to liability, hygiene and allergens, most companies do not make the effort to become pet friendly at all and the trend seems stagnant for now. Additionally, many employers question the necessity within smaller, more commute-friendly cities.