New study says pets at work boost morale and productivity

Published by on

FARGO, N.D. — One of my closest friends frequently sends me pictures from work showing her happy pup sprawled across her desk, lazily snoozing the day away while she works. It’s safe to say Bowser Black has become a permanent associate at Robert Half International. 

This odd, but adorable perk of having pets in the office is becoming a standard among companies, because as a new survey has shown “it boosts morale and productivity.”

Banfield Pet Hospital conducted a survey called the “Pet-Friendly Workplace PAWrometer.” The survey was created to explore the prevalence, impact and perceptions of pets in the workplace.

Roughly 200 human resource professionals and 1,000 employees from a variety of companies were polled regarding their views of pets in the workplace.

An astounding 70 percent of survey respondents agreed that pets in the workplace would improve work life.

“Overwhelmingly, responses indicate that pet-friendly workplaces are viewed as highly positive, boosting morale, contributing to talent retention and providing employers with a competitive edge in the recruitment process,” the Banfield Pet Hospital report shows. “Survey respondents even report that they believe more people would adopt pets if their companies offered pet-friendly office policies.”

One obvious but overlooked benefit of having pets in the workplace is the need for an afternoon walk.

In-office pets could encourage employees, who are usually slaves to their workload, to get up and out of office.

Breaks during the work day have been proven to boost productivity, and walking throughout the day can save thousands of calories over time.

Additional benefits of workplace pets include:

  • You’ll build up immunity and experience less allergies and asthma.
  • You’ll reduce your stress.
  • You’ll feel less alone.
  • You’ll feel more loved.
  • You’ll feel like you have a purpose.
  • You’ll be less likely to struggle with depression.
  • You’ll meet more people.

If you are one of the few places currently privileged enough to allow in-office pets, take full advantage of it and embrace the delightful creatures that bound playfully through the office. Perhaps it’s time businesses contemplate whether a change is needed to boost productivity and morale.

Hillary Sorenson is a certified personal trainer with several years of experience helping others shape up. Learn more about how to live a healthy lifestyle at