Office pets make a great addition to any work environment. They’re cute. They’re cuddly (at least some are). And they make people happy.
But what pet is right for your office? In this article, we’ll discuss the eight best office pets and give you some tips for creating a pet-friendly work environment.
Pros Of Having Office Pets
Morale is a difficult variable to maintain in a fast-paced office environment. It can be high in the morning and low in the afternoon.
An office pet can reduce those highs and lows and move office morale to a more consistent level.
There are few icebreakers better than a cuddly cat or adorable dog. The presence of animals in the office gives team members a reason to stop and chat with fellow coworkers about something other than work.
That one variable can improve not just interpersonal relationships but also long-term communication amongst your team.
Stress can affect the way your team members work in a negative way and seriously detract from their motivation. Office pets reduce stress levels and help keep employees happy even during intense bouts of activity.
Productivity is another difficult variable to maintain at the office. But with the presence of a pet, the combination of reduced stress and higher morale tends to increase productivity.
In many ways, an office pet has a significant effect on how your team members perceive each other at work.
This beneficial effect results in improved trust, cohesion, and camaraderie. All of that leads to better collaboration in the office.
Cons Of Having Office Pets
Pets are notoriously messy. From smells to hair to bladder issues, these factors can disrupt the way your team works and cause issues if you don’t take steps to keep your office clean and fresh.
Pet dander can lead to all sorts of annoying allergies, such as itchy eyes, runny nose, sneezing, and difficulty breathing. Those issues can interfere with the way your team works.
If you’re convinced that an office pet is right for your office but some members suffer from animal-related allergies, you may need to provide other accommodations for these individuals.
Some people just don’t like animals. And if you introduce a cat, dog, or hamster into their workspace, their productivity could suffer.
Make sure you ask all your employees how they feel about office pets before deciding to introduce an animal into the work environment.
Office pets improve the work/life balance in your business, but those animals can also disrupt the flow your team members rely on to get things done.
Untrained pets can be noisy and intrusive to team members who are trying to focus on an important task. Even just a few seconds of distraction can cause your employees to disengage and lose concentration.
If you decide to have an office pet, be sure it’s properly trained and provide a dedicated space for it away from your team’s work area.
Even though you may train your office mascot to be well-behaved, they’re still animals at heart.
Loud noises may startle them, or they may get defensive if they don’t like a visitor. In those cases, their teeth and claws can cause unintentional but serious injuries.
To prevent incidents, keep your office pet in its own designated area when you’re expecting visitors.
The 8 Best Office Pets
1) Guinea Pigs
Guinea pigs make great office pets because they are so easy to take care of.
They don’t require a lot of space — a good-sized cage with plenty of room to run around will do — and they are generally very social animals. Your team can pet and play with your office guinea pig without too much worry of bites or scratches.
If a guinea pig seems like too much to handle, you might consider a gecko instead. Geckos are docile, easy to tame, and require little effort outside of regular feeding and habitat maintenance.
Geckos do have some strict dietary restrictions — live crickets — but only need food every few days. As long as you feed it before you go home on Friday, you can leave a gecko alone for the weekend.
The right kind of bird — like a budgerigar (budgie for short) — makes a great addition to an office environment. Although birds are noisy at times, they don’t require much work aside from regular feedings.
Depending on the size of the bird you get, you’ll have to clean their cage once a week, but this mess won’t smell as bad as other office pets so you can cross that issue off your list.
Rabbits, like many of the other animals on this list, are intelligent, social, and playful. In addition, they are very clean and you can actually train them to use a litter box!
Rabbits do require regular exercise, so you will have to let them hop around the office every day. As long as they don’t feel threatened by all the activity, this freedom to roam can be a good time for animal and team members alike.
Fish are a low-maintenance choice when it comes to office pets. You will need to provide them with a large enough tank and change the water periodically, but feeding is simple, and very few people (if any) are allergic to live fish.
The best choice for fish in an office environment are:
Before you choose, do a bit of research about the type of water, the environment, and the company each fish needs to survive.
Cats are low-maintenance pets that don’t require a lot of attention to thrive in an office setting. Out of all the entries on this list, cats are probably the most popular choice for a work mascot.
They may venture into places they shouldn’t (e.g., behind monitors and other computer equipment) and their dander may irritate allergies, but cats make wonderful office pets that all can enjoy.
Dogs require a bit more care than cats, but they are still an excellent choice as an office pet.
Depending on the breed of dog you choose, they can grow quite large and may cause unintentional damage to equipment, furniture, and decor. A bit of training can prevent that issue.
An office dog will require frequent walks, so you’ll have to share the responsibility amongst your team members.
Hamsters are very popular as family pets, and they’ll make a nice addition to your office as well. Hamsters are generally nocturnal and may not like to be too active during the day.
It’s also important to get the right breed. Some breeds of hamsters aren’t very sociable and may bite at the drop of a hat.
We also suggest investing in a quality hamster ball so your furry friend can venture around the office and get plenty of exercise.
Tips For A Pet-Friendly Work Environment
1) Check Your Lease Or Workplace Agreement
Unless you own the building, you’ll want to make sure your landlord allows pets on the premises so you don’t violate your contract and run into legal issues.
2) Secure Comprehensive Liability Insurance Coverage
Even the friendliest, most well-behaved animal can cause problems (or damage) sometimes. Protect your business from expensive liability with a comprehensive insurance policy.
3) Create A Care Plan
If you have a full-time office mascot, create a care plan so everyone knows who is responsible for feeding, walking, and taking the little tyke to the vet.
If you allow your team members to bring their pets to work, establish a list of rules so your workplace doesn’t get out of control and devolve into an episode of Wild Kingdom.
4) Consider Adoption
Adopted animals make great office pets. And there are millions of animals who need a place to call home. Rather than buying new, visit your local pound, ASPCA office, or other animal charity and adopt one or two office pets.
Bond Collective Welcomes Pets
Bond Collective recognizes how much a furry — and not-so-furry — friend can improve a work environment. They offer pet-friendly locations and common areas where your cats, dogs, and other four-legged companions can enjoy the workday just like you.
This is in addition to the many other industry-leading amenities that Bond Collective offers, including:
Access to small and large conference rooms
Daily on-site cleaning
Rooftop lounge area
Photo & sound studio (at Gowanus location)
Complimentary fresh fruit
Complimentary beer, coffee, and tea
Private meeting & phone booths
Guest reception and greeting
If you’re looking for a spacious, pet-friendly, and well-appointed collaborative workspace to boost your productivity, take advantage of any one of Bond Collective’s many locations in the United States, including New York, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., Illinois, Tennessee, and Texas.
Call us today to find out more about everything we have to offer. And while you’re at it, schedule a tour to experience first-hand how the boutique work environments at Bond Collective can benefit your business.