Pets in the workplace positively impact your employees’ morale and work productivity. According to a survey by the American Pet Products Association, companies who welcome pets in their offices see a decrease in employee stress levels and less absenteeism from work. Employees are also more willing to put in extra hours because they don’t have to worry about rushing home to feed and walk their pets.
Pets break the ice between your employees from different departments and help them build a strong rapport. A pet-friendly office gives your employees peace of mind that their pets are safe and cared for throughout the work day. With their happy faces and wagging tails, employees can’t help but smile when they’re around pets. Not to mention, animals bring a sense of fun and humor into the office environment.
With the right steps in place, a pet-friendly office policy isn’t difficult to create. At Pets Best Pet Health Insurance, we welcome all pets and not just dogs. While dogs are the majority of the pets you’ll see in our office, we do have the occasional cat, kittens, and even ducks. The suggested tips below can also be implemented on a permanent basis or on special days such as “Take Your Pet to the Office.” Before creating a policy, check with your building owner/landlord to make sure it’s okay to have animals inside your office building. Due to health codes, and insurance restrictions there are some buildings that don’t allow animals (except for service animals).
Whether you have two or 200 employees, Pets Best encourages your company to create clear, consistent guidelines. Remember that it’s important to always keep the safety of your employees and their pets in mind.
1. Owners must be responsible for their pets at all times.
Owners must be responsible for their pets and watch them throughout the work day. If they need to step briefly away from their workspace, employees must safely contain their pets within their cubicle/office or have a co-worker supervise the animals. When owners are walking around with their pets, they should also keep them leashed.
Owners are responsible for taking their pets outside for bathroom breaks and need to clean up after them. Failure to clean up after pets can cause real issues with landlords and other building occupants. Give your employees flexibility so they can take their pets outside for quick breaks throughout the day.
2. Animals must act appropriately in an office environment.
In order to maintain a safe and harmonious environment, pets must act appropriately and cannot adversely affect office operations or disturb employees. They must be social and friendly, and cannot display aggressive behaviors towards employees and other animals. Animals need to be well-trained and cannot chew, bite or scratch furniture, etc.
Create safe areas for pets (i.e. inside employees’ cubicles or offices) so they feel comfortable. Use child-proof safety gates so pets are contained within one area.
Ask employees to bring in their pet’s favorite bed, blanket, toys, and water and food dishes so animals feel comfortable and safe in their new environment.