You’ll also find this post at The Pulse
How about critters?
What role (if any) do pets have in business?
I figure there are three schools of thought:
- Corporate environments in which the prospect of pets is laughable.
- Home / small offices that consider critters de rigueur.
- Places in between.
As usual, I expect to learn that I’ve merely … scratched the surface.
I’ll describe my situation, tell a few tales, then open the floor.
I’d love to hear yours too.
Omaha and Graham (pictured) spend each day in or around Empire House.
Omaha curls at my feet for hours.
She’s wonderful company for a sole trader in a solitary trade.
Twitter is awash with pictures of cats lounging on keyboards and monitors.
These suggest many businesspeople keep close quarters with furry friends.
My dogs get me out of the house.
I’m forever tempted to put work deadlines ahead of my well-being.
Left to my own devices, I wouldn’t exercise nearly as much.
But when bright eyes and tapping paws implore you to take them to the sun, it’s hard to resist.
I’ve read that pet owners live longer and have reduced cancer and heart disease risk.
The mere act of stroking fur is supposed to lower your heart rate and stress level.
If you have a bad interaction with a client or supplier, the warmth and unconditional understanding of a best friend can be very calming.
It cuts both ways, though.
When clients visit, critters must vanish.
You can’t have them jumping and pawing.
And that visitor’s chair better be clean.
It’s bad enough when you go to a meeting covered in fur. (The old sticky roller’s a godsend here.)
Sending your clients back into the world similarly hirsute is even worse.
Some larger offices allow pets (and military mascots abound).
Responses range from lifting team morale to finding poo in the boardroom.
Some people can’t handle the distraction of animals at work.
And a cute puppy sure can stop an entire department in its tracks.
Babies have a similar impact, though they don’t tend to chew three-phase power cables.
Then, of course, there are allergies.
Despite the pitfalls, some big firms have a liberal attitude towards pets at work.
How about you?
What do you think of this fuzzy frivolity?
- One meow, yes.
- Two meows, no.
Give us a sign,
lest we do this by
Paul Hassing, Founder & Senior Writer, The Feisty Empire