Having a pet in the office—such as a dog—sounds like a dream come true to most people. Amazon’s Seattle headquarters is dog-friendly with more than 1,000 dogs keeping employees company. According to a 2016 report from the Society for Human Resource Management, 7 percent of U.S workplaces are pet friendly. It’s a perk with an abundance of health benefits for employees while adding to the work-life balance.

Benefits of a Pet-Friendly (or Woof-Friendly) Workplace

Pets reduce stress and make employees feel more relaxed. Dogs specifically are known to decrease stress hormone levels in humans. Pets overall have calming effects, reduce blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and add lightheartedness to the workplace. Let’s exclude the 4 ft python from this group however…and the hairy spider!

Young businessman walking with his dog
Young businessman walking with his dog

Dogs create friendlier social interactions with colleagues and strangers. Smooth communication leads to more trust and the strengthening of work relationships.

Allowing pets in the office creates a kinder and more positive image of the business, especially if visitors interact with them.

Employees of pet friendly business work longer hours because they don’t have to rush home to walk Mr. Poodle or Ms. Yorkie.

When employees take breaks to spend time with their dog or take it for a walk, it increases their energy, allowing them to be more productive. Taking a break will refresh the mind, and having a pet in the office will remind the employee to do so.

Portrait of excited dog looking at laptop screen in office
Portrait of excited dog looking at laptop screen in office

A pet friendly workplace can encourage all employees to take healthy breaks and be more active by rotating the dog walking responsibility.

Employees also save money since they don’t have to pay for dog walkers or doggie day care every day.

A dog friendly workplace benefits the overall well-being of the dog as well. Since they are social creatures, they enjoy being included in daily activities. It’s better for them to socialize than to be alone in a house for hours waiting for their owner to arrive (that’s why they destroy those $50 pillows when you’re gone).

Cons of Having an Office Pet

British Bulldog looking sad at desk
British Bulldog looking sad at desk

We won’t overlook the potential downsides to having a pet in the office. There are factors that have to be taken into consideration like allergies. Someone claiming reasonable accommodation has medical ground for your pet staying at home. Also, some dogs are aggressive in nature. And if pets are accident-prone, the employer’s insurance will increase. Did I mention all barking? You’d better get me some $300 headphones!

Despite all the fuss, the rise of pet-friendly offices is increasing. Recent studies show that 51% of workers say canines enhance their productivity while 63% say that dogs help lower employees’ stress levels at work.

99% of pets agree that you should bring them to work. The other 1% didn’t respond because they were too busy chewing on your pillows.

Do you have any experience with office pets? Let us know down in the comments.

This article originally published on GREY Journal.