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Here is Why You Should Adopt a Pet-friendly Office Policy Pets let employees engage more with each other despite being in different teams and streams

By Vanita D'souza

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Are you a dog person or cat person?

We all have a personal favourite when it comes adopting a pet. Who doesn't love cuddling to a dog or petting a cat?

However, if you are wondering how does it matter when it comes to your professional life, well it does.

Pet-friendly office spaces are the new fad among Indian startups wherein employees can either get their pet to work or the office collaboratively adopts a pet.

So, we at Entrepreneur India discussed this new trend with pet-friendly startups to understand what led them to adopt this policy and how has it benefitted their work environment.

Stress Busters

For ScoopWhoop it began as a gesture to help stray animals and hence, the online content startup decided to support them with shelter, food, company. This in return turned out to be a great stress buster for its employees.

Sriparna Tikekar Co-Founder & Chief Content Officer, ScoopWhoop says, "Our army of four-legged friends serve as great stress busters and gaming companions to our employees. Having pets around encourages people to take short breaks to play with them and is rejuvenating, especially on a busy day which helps employees to be more productive."

Additionally, Tikekar feels in our busy lives where our mental and physical work-life imbalance can cause serious health issues, pets change the environment by adding value and nurture productivity as they are known to have a calming effect on people.

"Dogs help in creating a friendly and cohesive environment as they are best conversation starters and get people together despite difference. Even experts worldwide have begun to encourage this, as it improves mental health conditions," she added.

New Dimension

While on the side, a few years ago, one of Chaayos employees brought her golden retriever – Fido to work. Initially, there was some hesitation among its employees, however, moments later people got accustomed to Fido. This is what motivated Chaayos to adopt the pet-friend policy.

Nitin Saluja, Founder and CEO, Chaayos feels pets motivate people while it creating balance work-play culture with an emotional touch. After finishing something stressful, spending a few minutes with Fido, Milo, Nawab or Diana (Dogs at Chaayos) helps its employees relax and work more efficiently.

"Pets are sources of positive emotion, and their presence helps everyone remember and exercise positivity, regardless of the stress of the situation. Any organisation that allows pets is more likely to have happier employees. Pets let employees engage more with each other despite being in different teams and streams," he shared while adding that, "Such engagement leads to constructive behaviour among peers. This also becomes a pull for prospective employees who value such an environment and helps them break in quickly. Over a long period, this gives the organisation a much more open culture, where employees are more engaged, less stressed, and have strong interpersonal relationships."

The Magical Factor

Chitra Das started Champs Fleur with her pet Bindu, who presently is the Chief Cuddle Officer of the startup.

She shares, "Apart from the love and care she gives me, she has also taught me a lot and I wanted to have her with my team as our own lucky charm. As our focus is more on the product and creative side of things, we don't shy away from using her as one of our favourite models. Also, whenever we need her star power, she is never afraid to strike a pose for our followers."

Furthermore, Das has started to notice employees turning up early work in order to spend some quality time with Bindu and space feels more like a homily.

"Having a pet eases the whole working process and also adds a sense of ownership. There's a certain synergy pet bring to the team, and teach us how happiness can be in spontaneous moments. We find ourselves laughing and are in constant awe of Bindu, she helps with our brainstorming solutions and creative idea building," she added.

Vanita D'souza

Former Senior Correspondent, Entrepreneur India

I am a Mumbai-based journalist and have worked with media companies like The Dollar Business Magazine, Business Standard, etc.While on the other side, I am an avid reader who is a travel freak and has accepted foodism as my religion.

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