Allowing pets in the workplace can help employees work together better, but you should consider a few things before inviting employees to bring their cats and dogs into the office. After you put the right rules into place, the transition into a pet-friendly company can be smooth.
Get Everyone’s Approval
The first thing you want to do is make sure that management and employees are happy with the idea of a pet-friendly work area. Once you get the OK from everyone, consider creating a survey that asks their opinions on the types of pets they’re comfortable with and whether they have any pet allergies.
Cross Your T’s, and Dot Your I’s
Make sure that your insurance company is OK with dogs, cats or other pets in the office. You can also ask employees to fill out paperwork stating that they’ll accept responsibility for damages caused by their pets.
Dog-Proof the Office
Once you’ve established boundaries, such as allowing only small dogs or small caged animals, it’s time to pet-proof the office. Cover cords to prevent chewing, and make sure to keep items that are dangerous for pets far out of reach.
Create a Doggy Office
Create specific areas designed for the dogs. Dedicate a room for the dogs to run around and play, designate a space for the animals to eat and drink, and install a doggy door, so they can go outside when nature calls.
Develop Pet-Free Areas
Set up baby gates or areas to leash the animals, so employees have areas where they can relax away from the animals.
Prepare for Potential Accidents
Talk to the cleaning crew, and make sure they’re prepared to handle potential accidents. A pet may be sick one day, which could lead to an unexpected accident.
Set Behavioral Rules
Develop a policy that details how incidents with misbehaving animals will be handled, so there are no misunderstandings. Set concrete rules, such as three violations meaning the pet cannot come back, so there’s no confusion or conflict if a pet is banned.
Conduct Doggy Interviews
Consider setting up an interview period or probationary period during which a new pet gets to know the workforce. Give everyone time to get to know the animal, then ask your staff if they’re OK with the animal staying in the office. Adding a furry friend or more to the team is a great way to liven up the office atmosphere. Many studies have shown that dogs in the workplace lead to reduced employee stress and increased productivity. This means that people are often happy to come into work everyday, and more work gets finished.
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