The economic struggles that have been prevalent in the United States are nothing new to the workforce. Business owners have been feeling the pressure of maintaining positive numbers and, in turn, workplace morale has experienced a severe drop.
Companies have been going to extremes in order to stay out of the red; budget cuts, layoffs and slashed employee benefits have been just a few of the measures taken. The result has been hundreds of thousands of discontented employees who dread that early morning alarm and pray for five o’clock to come faster every day.
Any reasonably intelligent office manager is well aware that a miserable workforce can lead to an overall company downturn. Still, how can they boost workplace morale without breaking the bank? The latest surge of content across the web offers numerous ways to do so; from employee of the month recognition to casual Fridays, most offices have already put at least a few suggestions into action. Still, many businesses note an unhappy staff.
One option that select companies are beginning to use is to allow personnel to bring their pets to work. Yes, this sounds like a recipe for disaster… at first. But when managers begin to give the idea the consideration it deserves, they see that this may be an excellent way to boost workplace morale.
Animals have been used as therapeutic companions for some time now, notably in assisted living and rehabilitation facilities. Studies have shown that physical contact with a pet can have several physical and emotional benefits, including lowering high blood pressure and triggering a release of pain-suppressing chemicals in our bodies known as endorphins. Patients that engage in animal-assisted therapy also show an overall positive change in attitude and mannerisms.
With so many positive effects resulting from time with our furry friends, is it any real surprise that managers are starting to apply the concept in efforts to boost office morale?
Granted, the idea should be taken with a grain of salt. Pets brought to the workplace must be house-broken and trained well enough so that they don’t become a hindrance rather than a constructive change. Most coworkers and clients would not appreciate a smelly ‘present’ in the hall or a ‘talkative’ dog while trying to work.
In order to prevent the office from becoming a zoo, perhaps designate a certain day each week or month as ‘bring your pet to work day’. Or, if several employees are interested in partaking, alternate days so that there are never too many animals around the building. Baby gates are also great tools for the workplace! Owners can use them to keep pets in designated areas, thus preventing the distraction of keeping a close watch throughout the day.
Clearly having pets around the workplace is not appropriate for every business. However, if possible, it is a fun, low-cost alternative to help boost morale and reward employees for their hard work while putting a smile on everyone’s faces.
About Mimi Naghshineh
Mimi Naghshineh is currently making her mark in the digital marketing industry. She has an expert eye for detail and quickly captivates readers. Based in Wixom, Mich., Biznet Digital is a full-service Web solutions company, focusing on business and mobile Websites, advertising agency support and Internet marketing, including search and social media marketing. For more information, visit http://www.biznetis.net.