This topic has been brewing for quite some time now and while animal lovers see nothing but positive outcomes from having their furry friends included in the office, others might think otherwise.
So what are some potential downfalls of having your workspace occupied by your four legged pets?
Pets can be disruptive and cause health concerns
Well, let’s start with the obvious scenario with allergies or phobias. If you have them, you know how office animals could present major inconveniences. No one deserves to have their noses turn inside out or watch over their shoulder for the day. While some cases can be more severe than others, putting your employees at risk will certainly be a roadblock for office animals.
Other unpleasant outcomes of bringing pets to work can include potential damages to the office or materials and also the distractions that your attention craving animals can demand throughout the day.
However, before we completely throw out the idea, let’s have a look at some of the benefits.
Pets can improve the overall office atmosphere
Bringing your pets in the office can have a major impact on employee stress levels and makes employees feel more relaxed and comfortable. They are also ideal for employee moral as they can serve as a point of common interest in which can introduce an atmosphere of teamwork and communication.
A pet-friendly policy can also build a higher employee retention rate and increase employee performance. How? This pet-friendly environment can be very appealing for animal lovers and can be a great recruiting tool. In addition, their performance is guaranteed to increase as a result of all these factors as they are stress-free and engaged at work.
After briefly investigating both sides of the coin it is safe to say that implementing a pet policy in your office is can be a very difficult task. Before you make the final decision we encourage you to see how you may be able to satisfy both parties involved in the pet war. There are certainly certain precautions that can be taken to create a pet policy that hears everyone concerns.
5 tips to consider if you are thinking about inviting your pets at the office.
1. Make sure no one objects
If you are considering the benefits of a dog-friendly office, make sure no one objects. Not everybody loves pets, therefore it is important that you let these employees voice their opinions first. If some concerns arise, you need to have a very open conversation to understand what the issues are and explore the possibility for some compromises. If no one objects then it will make your policy draft much easier.
2. Direct Responsibility
Let's face it, dogs can be quite destructive. Especially when they are introduced to a new environment and meet new people. All dog owners must be responsible for their dog's actions. To protect yourself and the company, make sure you are covered in case of any damages. You may want to draft a contract and ask for the dog's masters signature before they bring in their pet too. This will ensure that if damages occur, the company will have their hands clean.
3. Create a pet committee
Every office needs a rufferree. It is important to have an individual or team that is responsible for addressing any complaints or praises that may arise from the pet's presence in the office. They are there to communicate with the owners if needed.
4. Ensure your office is pet-proofed
Have any cables, cords or open trash cans that can cause any issues? Make sure to attend to any potential hazard or distractions for your pets. It is very important to introduce your pets only when your office is ready. In some cases, offices restrict some areas or create a designated pet room to avoid any issues.
5. Create Specific Limitations
Finally, before your office turns into a zoo. It is very important to set some limitations. Designate specific days for employees to bring their pets. This will help create order at also allow employees to have some dog-free time if needed. Also, have your employees take turns bringing in their pets. Having multiple animals in the office at once increases the odds of potential issues and distractions.
At PurelyHR, we have the opportunity to see our beloved office dog Ty every once and while. His presence with us is always welcome and we have established that this miniature Yorkie introduces zero threats to our employees and their work.
We hope you will have a great experience with your pets at work!
If you already have a pet-friendly office, let us know what are some of your experiences in the comments below!