Convince your boss to get an office pet on World Mental Health Day
If you’re a full-time pet owner, you’ll understand just how much of an impact a furry friend can have on your health and wellbeing. Remember the time your dog broke loose on a walk in the park and, after hours and hours of searching, you were forced to head home pet-less with a sinking heart?
In an effort to be reunited, you posted the cutest pic you could find on Facebook with the hashtag #heartbroken. You were grateful to the hundreds of people that liked and shared your post, even those who would not be of any help in reuniting you with your beloved Archie.
I mean, Hilary, I know your intentions are good but why would the dog I lost in Accrington be roaming the streets of San Francisco?
Nevertheless, it gave you hope. You decided to call it a day and tried to get some rest. The following morning, you woke up to 12 notifications and 7 DMs. Your friends had tagged you in a picture of a dog that looked suspiciously like yours and left comments like:
“Is this Archie?”
“This dog looks just like Archie!!!”
Lo and behold, it was Archie. You let out a sigh of relief and vowed never to walk your dog again.
Every pet owner is bound to experience a stressful scenario like that at least once but it’s actually rare for pets to be the cause of stress. In fact, it’s scientifically proven that pets not only reduce stress, but also provide humans with a number of mental health benefits in both the home and the workplace.
Here’s the ammunition you need to convince your boss to get an office pet on World Mental Health Day. Let’s start with the obvious:
Pets will make the workforce happy
Have you ever pulled your face in disgust when your friend’s cat walked through the door? Unless you’re a dog person that hates cats for no reason whatsoever (or vice versa – a bit like Blackburn/Burnley fans), the answer will be no.
That’s because pets make people happy, to put it simply. Seeing and stroking and playing with a cute animal increases the levels of serotonin and dopamine in the brain, lowers blood pressure and makes people feel calmer as a result. See – science!
Pets provide necessary distractions in the office
This is when your boss will ask, “what is a necessary distraction?”
Tough days are inevitable in any office. You’ve been staring at a computer screen for 4 hours without a break and the deadline for the project you’re working on has been brought closer unexpectedly.
On days like this, a dog stopping by your desk to say hello and show you the pointless object it’s been carrying around may be just what you need. Two strokes and a “what have you got there?” later will provide you with the necessary distraction (aka break) you needed to tackle the project at hand.
Pets will get the workforce on their feet
Despite family and friends with manual jobs telling you otherwise, sitting at a desk all day can be tiresome. Staying in the same position and staring at a screen for hours on end will make your bones ache and your eyes feel heavy.
It just so happens that dogs are needy. They need to be walked, fed and let in and out of rooms. It doesn’t take much exertion to help your pets, but little movements throughout the day will do the workforce a world of good without them even realising it.
Here at Billian, our office dog Archie is more than just a pet, he’s an integral part of the team. He encourages creativity (usually in the form of canine-related puns), offers motivational support and boosts staff morale. We all love having him around, especially when he’s been to the poodle parlour for a haircut and looks extra cute.
Of course, there are some things to consider before you get an office pet. Before the big pitch, let your boss know that you’ve thought it through and know how much work is involved.
Things to think about
Are your co-workers comfortable having animals around? Do any of your co-workers have allergies? Will you need to implement a policy? Who will be responsible for making sure that your office pet is well-trained and well-exercised, to avoid it from becoming a real distraction?
Other than that, what are you waiting for? #WorldMentalHealthDay is the perfect time to share this with your boss!