Back in the day, I’d only dream of bringing my dog to work and sorrow at the thought of leaving him behind. Luckily, more and more workspaces are now shifting to the idea of being “pet-friendly offices”. How awesome is that?
But again, what is a pet friendly office? It’s your typical working office, except one where you let pets come along. Studies suggest bringing your pet to the workspace can improve work-life balance for employees which in turn is great for productivity and morale.
Here’s a list of benefits you’d have should you create a pet-friendly office:
- Lower stress levels
- Increase productivity
- Boost morale and overall positivity around the office
- Lower employee absenteeism
- Increase recruitments and showcase your pet-friendly culture
If you’ve finally decided to go pet-friendly, you’ll have to give a few critical decisions a thought. Continue reading as we quickly jump into discussing each of those decisions as some tips for you to make a pet-friendly office!
Tips for Having a Pet-friendly Office
Going pet-friendly implies the fact that the working environment is safe, both for you and your pet alike. Human resources would probably draft a policy that would state the rules and other aspects of this decision. Let’s have a look at a few tips which you can make use of to create a pet-friendly office:
1. Establish a Clear Policy
The first step in going pet-friendly is to establish a clear-cut policy on how you’ll be moving forward. Unfortunately, studies show that over 64% of pet-friendly workspaces don’t consider creating policies regarding pets at work. This, eventually, leads to issues on what’s allowed and what’s forbidden.
A pet-friendly office policy will consider each situation regarding pets at work and sum up rules regarding those. For example, pets should be housebroken, vaccinated, and on a leash at all times. Maybe it’s different at your workplace – but the point is, the policy should exist in a printed-form at all times.
All employees should also sign policies. It’s likely some employees won’t get along, but since the majority would be voting in to make your workplace pet-friendly, it’s better to get their signatures. Also, employees who’d bring their pets along should sign more relevant paperwork, e.g. adding in vaccination details, along with the general policy set by the company.
It can also include rules related to employee complaints and where pets will be kept. This leads us to our next tip – make sure there’s a play area for pets to enjoy and be in their own company without disturbing other employees.
2. Create a “Play Place”
Rules are in place, and it’s finally the “bring your pet to work” day! There’s one small issue – your furry friends can’t be beside you all the time. This is why it is necessary to create a dedicated play area for pets to be in and have fun by themselves and other pets.
Indoor pet crates and pens are an excellent way to stimulate some entertainment for your pet. You can add in toys of different types, maybe even rotate them and let your pet get the hang of it. Add in some snuffle mats and toys like treat-releasing balls so your pet can have some delicious treats in there as well.
Make it as interactive and entertaining as you can. Other than toys, see if you can arrange a TV or maybe a music player. Run a soothing track in there or tune a funny channel for your pets to watch once they’re tired from all the fun.
Other than entertainment accessories, make sure to add in necessities as well. Add in a water bowl to keep your pet hydrated, and cozy beds (if it’s applicable) so they can relax whenever they want. You can also add in wire dog crates to give them their own private space from other pets.
Finally, when you’re free from work or a break is long due, you can visit your pet there. Have fun with your pet, give it a few cuddles, and you won’t be hurting other employee’s sentiments either.
3. Use Pet-friendly Cleaning Products
Owners will likely be looking after their own pets’ accidents around the office. To clean it up, you’ll be needing cleaning products and supplies. Unfortunately, not all cleaning supplies are recommended for use around pets.
Chemicals like formaldehyde, isopropyl alcohol, and phenols are quite dangerous if consumed by most pets. Since our pets are often directly in contact with the carpet flooring, they’re more exposed to such toxins. It’s better to stick to pet-friendly products and avoid the risk of your pet being sick.
Most pet-friendly cleaning supplies use plant-derived enzymes. Moreover, they are biodegradable and hypoallergenic, without the presence of delicate fragrances or harsh chemicals. These products are just as good as chemical products when it comes to cleaning stains and smelly odors.
Along with cleaning products, make sure to add in a broom and dust pans as well. A little old school cleaning won’t hurt your pet and will get the job done as well.
4. Keep Pet Essentials at Hand
Pet owners are often loaded with pet essentials. But in an emergency, someone could run out of those items. To create a pet-friendly office, you’d have to keep a small stash of such pet essentials at the office too.
Some pet essentials are no-brainers – leash, wipes, ID tags, first aid kit, and more. You can keep pet treats and foods at the office, so employees don’t have to arrange it themselves. But it’s completely fine to cut this cost and make it a necessity for employees to cater to pet food themselves.
5. Consider Those that Don’t Appreciate Pets in the Office
Our last tip is perhaps the most important – be considerate to those who aren’t pet owners. Employees who are either not in favor of having pets in the office have a say just as much as the others. Pet-free zones are an excellent way of keeping pets away from employees who don’t want them around while they work.
That concludes our article on tips on how to make a pet-friendly office! Do you have any other tips that you’d like to share with us? If so, then comment below!