Pets reduce stress and improve health. Many research studies show that pets lower blood pressure and lessen anxiety. So it’s natural that pets have made their way into some offices. Since pets at work are not strictly illegal in most places, should your workplace implement a pet policy that allows them? Here are some pros, cons, and tips on what your possible pets policy should include:
It’s good for Your Health
It’s hard to be in a bad mood with a furry friend hanging around your workspace. Pets offer known benefits that can be both physical and emotional.
They create friendlier environment
They also create positive social interactions by generating natural conversations. Pets are never socially awkward and often even if your employees are they can generate interactions that might otherwise not exist.
Stress vs. Productivity
Can pet help us to reduce stress and be more productive at work? Or are pets at work simply going to be another distraction?
Allowing furry friends in the office requires detailed policy guidance to create and environment that is healthy and happy for both the pets and employees.
Pros of pets in the office
The obvious stress relief and health benefits.
Reduced doggy daycare and other pet-sitting costs.
Bonding among co-workers who like pets.
Potential customer appeal especially in front-office situations.
A pet-friendly policy could potentially engender customer good-will (at least from pet-loving clientele), soften a company’s corporate image, and even improve customer relation.
Cons of pets in the office
Trouble for co-workers with allergies.
Interruptions for walks and doggie bathroom breaks.
Damage caused by chewing and “accidents” around the office.
Distractions and other interruptions caused by barking or just wanting attention.
They can be messy. Potential accidents can happen but if you have a pet well trained then it shouldn’t be an issue.
To avoid the downside of pet-friendly policies, employers should not only consult a legal professional before adopting or drafting such a policy, but also employers should consider first implementing a pet-policy program on a probationary basis to determine whether it is both workable and beneficial”.
No matter what you decide, guidelines regarding your pets in the workplace policy should be in place on the first day you start your business. If you keep your company animal-free, one or two lines stating that in the company handbook is fairly simple. However, allowing furry friends in the office requires detailed policy guidance* to create an environment that is healthy and happy for both the pets and employees.
- General expectations. It’s always good to state your general expectations when it comes to employees’ responsibilities for bringing pets to work.
- Frequency restrictions (dogs may come to the office on Fridays only).
- Up-to-date files on vaccinations.
- Pet certificate.
- Good behaviour/ Control (employee’s who bring their pets to the workplace still maintain exclusive control of their pets).
Limits. How many pets will be allowed? Which areas pets will be allowed? Identify and implement pet-free zones. These can include meeting areas, conference rooms, employee break rooms, cafeterias, and rest rooms. What happens if a pet causes an accident? You may want to state that if a pet attacks a human, it will immediately be barred from the workplace.
Last but not least, make sure all your employees sign the policy and are aware of its contents.
Are pets in the office a good or bad thing? Would you bring your pet to work?