We’ve had two pets at Baopals: Doge the dog, and Tazerface, also known as Heimi, the cat.
Doge was always in our office the first year, while we worked out of Charlie and TJ’s former apartment. He is sorely missed these days as he isn’t allowed in our new office building.
Tazerface was found in the elevator of our office building; a lonely newborn kitten. A couple of employees took him into the office, where the team carved out some space and pitched in for food and supplies so that we could take care of our new company pet.
Doge was the consummate gentleman and scholar, and Tazerface is a nuisance who loves knocking things over (can you tell I’m a dog person?), but both have been wonderful additions to the workplace. Here are some of the benefits a company pet can bring:
- Improved health. Stress has been shown to cause over a third of workplace absences, as stress can lead to a number of common illnesses. According to a 2012 study in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management, having dogs at work leads to reduced stress levels (we didn’t need a study to prove that seeing a doggo’s adorable face relieves stress, but there you have it). Less stress means happier and healthier employees.
- Energy and creativity boosts. I’m a big fan of the Pomodoro Technique, whereby work is broken down into 25 to 30 minute intervals separated by short breaks. These breaks keep your mind fresh and focused so you can avoid burning out. Pets give us a reminder every now and then to get up, avoid falling into a lethargic state from staring at our screens, and reenergize with a furry friend.
- Team bonding. Pets bring positive vibes and give everyone something more stimulating than the coffee machine to gather around. Nothing compares to the unconditional love and comfort a dog gives, and with Tazerface, well, we can all bond over having our things knocked over.
- Increased productivity. Having pets around sets a tone for thinking outside the box and enjoying yourself at work. The difference in our employees’ happiness with a pet around is palpable, and happy employees are productive employees.
As an animal lover, I’m sure to be biased on this one. Pets aren’t for everyone, nor are they fit for every workplace. In our case, though, both Doge the dog and Tazerface the cat have been “pawsome” additions to the team.