Is an Office Pet a Delight or a Distraction?
You walk into an office for a meeting and before the receptionist can say a word to you, a kitten slinks through your path. This office has a pet, and if you’re a cat-person, this is an extremely exciting development. The meeting goes smoothly and the cat wants to be your best friend. So, now you leave and you’re thinking of becoming that “cool and hip” office that has a cute little animal mascot to brighten up the work day. But have you thought of everything that goes into having an office pet?
Small Pets are a Fun and Easy Addition to Your Team
The decision to have small pets, like fish or hamsters, in the office generally up to the owners. As long as one person agrees to feed it and clean its living space, managing this new addition to your team does not have to be a terribly involved process. But, if you’re looking to involve larger pets, we’re talking about taking on something a little more demanding.
Pros and Cons of Adding a Larger Pet to the Team
Pro: You’ll have a more relaxed and fun work environment. This kind of speaks for itself. Having a pet around can provide natural breaks in the work day and encourage walks or play time. For us humans, this is vital to creativity and productivity and is often overlooked.
Pro: Pets are clinically proven stress relievers. Trust me on this one – a warm sleeping cat on your desk will lower your blood pressure. Animals tend to bring out the best in us – they don’t have tight deadlines or complain if you’re in a bad mood. They just are and they accept you for who you are. That can do a lot in a work environment.
Pro: You immediately stand out to your clients. Don’t use this as justification though, you have to own it. This should also be noted that pets have needs too, and it is vital their needs are met in having them around, not just to be different. However, if your environment embraces these differences, clients will have a different experience of you.
Con: Pets in a work-space can disrupt the work flow of your environment. This is probably the biggest pushback to having an office pet. Naturally, the complete care for another life in your work space can be just that, demanding. If not well behaved, these animals can be distracting and disrupt the work flow of your environment. Dogs will probably need to be walked or taken outside during the work day, as well.
Con: Time and commitment to their needs as well as yours. Pets also require a sizable time commitment to care for them, as well as additional and regular expenses for their veterinary visits, food, toys, and other supplies. Who takes care of your furry friend on the weekend?
Con: Everyone is different in their feelings toward animals. Your new employee may become problematic for clients. Many people are allergic to pet hair and dander, so you should ensure that the rooms your clients regularly go into are off limits to your office pet. Other people are often afraid of animals, so you definitely want to make sure that you have a proper method of restraining them, whether that is a kennel or a pet gate. You’ll want to make sure that your clients are as comfortable as possible; after all, they may not be so excited about you having an office pet.
Bonus Question: Are you even allowed to? Do you own the building are you leasing it? Does your lease allow you to have pets on the premises? Check your contracts and ask these questions when you look to relocate.
After you’ve considered these possible issues that arise with taking care of an office pet, here are some of the great perks that come along with your new furry friend!
It does, after all, shake up the conventional 9-5 to have a pet along for the ride.
Elizabeth Macke is a digital marketing intern at Catapult Creative Media. She is a master’s student in the college of mass communication at LSU. She enjoys cooking, reading, watching television, and obsessing over Beyoncé.
Work with Catapult Creative Media Inc. Catapult Creative Media Inc. is a digital marketing and design agency serving south Louisiana and headquartered in Baton Rouge. Founded in 2007, Catapult provides digital, social and mobile marketing solutions backed by relevant strategy and measurable results. Catapult works the web to their clients’ advantage, launching them to their next level of success.