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Your New Chief Happiness Officer – Should We Have Pets in the Workplace?

·3-min read
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pets at work
pets at work

In the wise words of local TikToker BenWhoah, “I find the most meaning in life ah, is from those HDB cats below my block. They keep me going you know. Sometimes when I quarrel with my family ah, I go downstairs, pet pet the cat, I happy already! Thank you cat ah. [sic]”

To many animal-loving Singaporeans, this is a sentiment that resonates with them. After a long, gruelling day at work, they find their meaning in life in showering their pets with love and affection. However, what if you don’t have to wait until after office hours to “pet pet” your beloved pet?

While still a rare sight in Singapore, there are offices and working spaces in Singapore that allow you to bring in your pets. Carousell’s office is pet friendly and Gather Cowork is a coworking space by Cathay Organisation that welcomes pets into its premises.

Pets in the workplace are not limited to cats and dogs. Other pets that have made an appearance in offices are fish, birds, rodents, and amphibians as well!

pets at work
pets at work

The Paw-sitive Effects of Bringing Your Pet to Work

Studies reveal that having pets in the workplace reduces stress, increases productivity, and improves morale amongst employees. A survey conducted by LiveCareer shows that 52% of respondents said that pet-friendly benefits and policies are important when considering an employer and 49% said that a pet-friendly work environment could convince them to take a job offer. As for those who have worked with pets in the workplace, nearly 8 out of 10 respondents said working with a pet was a positive experience.

Rather than being distractions, it seems that pets can be important members of the office just by being themselves. Scientists have found that just cuddling your furry companion can have psychological benefits such as reducing levels of Cortisol, the hormone that is responsible for stress, anxiety, and depression. It can even be good for your physical health as being happier can reduce the risks that come with high stress levels like a stroke.

Who Let the Dogs in?

If your workplace does not already have an animal buddy, you can consider bringing one in. However, before doing so, you should consider several things:

  • Not everyone is an animal lover. Some people might have allergies or animals are just not their thing. Religious sensitivities concerning pets in the environment must also be considered. Before you go ahead and bring in a pet, make sure to consult everyone in your workplace and get them on board.

  • Once you have gotten everyone on board with the idea, work with your Human Resources team to set rules and guidelines for having a pet at work. While there are benefits of having pets in the workplace, if there are no regulations, it could have the opposite effect.

  • Taking care of a pet is a great responsibility. If you are bringing your pet in, make sure to clean up after it and ensure that it does not terrorise your colleagues. If it is a live-in pet, ensure that there is a roster or someone in charge of ensuring the well-being and happiness of your pet.

  • Decide on pet zones and pet-free zones in your workplace. Clear pet zones of hazardous items that can be accessed by a curious pet wandering about on their own.

Check out our Career Resources page for more tips and tricks on how to make your work life more enjoyable.

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