Hello! Today’s post is a guest post from Marissa Perez, the blogger at businesspop.net.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 38.4% of homes in the US have dogs and more than 25% have cats. This equates to around 80 million canine and feline companions. It’s obvious that people love their pets. As a business owner, you can help your employees and customers spend more time with their animals by opening your business up to well-behaved best friends.
Why Allow Pets in the Workplace?
Pet friendly. Those two words send happy thoughts through pet owners’ minds. For your customers, it means they don’t have to leave their best friend at home or in the car when they need to pay you a visit. For your employees, this unique employee benefit means you can expect increased morale, and your business will have a homier environment. Importantly, opening your doors to animals may even entice the best talent to work for you instead of the competition. While you should still offer benefits like paid time off and health insurance, little extras like this show your staff care and are invested in their overall well-being.
For those with dogs, this arrangement can also encourage employees to get in some exercise. Taking Fido out for a walk around the block or in an outdoor common area is a great way for the furry ones and their owners to get a breath of fresh air as well. This is made so much more convenient if the workplace is located in an area with a high Walk Score, which measures the walkability of cities and towns across the country. Another thing to think about here is that being a pet-friendly business will put you in the minority of service providers. This can make you stand out and capture a larger demographic of potential customers. Plus, you can position yourself to participate in community events that cater to animal lovers, who also happen to be your customers.
Safety and Comfort
Before we get into the safety and comfort of your animal partners, we must address the elephant in the room: your employees that don’t like animals or who have medical concerns, such as allergies, that need to be addressed. According to Dolan Law Firm, if one of your employees is severely allergic to animals, you will be required to make reasonable accommodations, much like an employer who does not allow animals would have to do for a service animal. This might include allowing affected employees to work from home or providing them with a safe space to work, such as an office with a separate entrance. You might also consider putting an air purifier in each office or installing a commercial system to pull allergens, such as pet hair and dander, from the air.
Now, think of the fun stuff: making your office a great environment for pets. Start with a few basics, such as having plenty of food and water bowls and places to sleep. For the latter, look for dog beds, couches, and cushions in a variety of sizes so that your office can accommodate the paws and claws of all breeds. Before purchasing any pet products, find helpful pet care advice to determine that they’re high-quality items fit for pets.
Rules and Regs
No matter how excited you are about the prospect of bringing in furry companions, you will also
need to set some ground rules, which are crucial for everyone’s safety. These might include:
- Scheduling pet visits. If you have 100 people in your office, it’s not going to be feasible
to allow 100 different animals every day. Make sure to have a calendar in place so that
your employees can sign up for days they want to bring their pets
- Requiring vaccinations. Hopefully, your employees and customers are responsible pet
parents. However, it makes sense to require all animals on your property to be
vaccinated. Chewy notes that core vaccines include those for rabies, distemper,
bordetella, and parvovirus.
- Have a strict behavior policy. Communicate with words, signs, and even emails and
social media posts that all animals on your property must be well-behaved at all times.
And it’s a good idea to keep some quality treats and food on hand to reward Fido’s good
Allowing dogs, cats, and other cuddly creatures in the office is a great way to boost morale. It’s an excellent benefit to everyone, and it opens up the door for you to be more involved in your community. But, remember, safety first. Take steps to make sure that your employees, customers, and the animals you plan to allow on-site can stay safe and healthy every day.