How To Accommodate Your Business to Your Furry Friends
Preparing for Fido
There are several benefits of being a pet-friendly workplace including a higher sense of company loyalty among employees, decreased stress levels, and a friendlier workplace. But, there are some key points employers have to consider in order to ensure a smooth transition. The first step on this journey is to ask all employees about their thoughts on working in a pet-friendly office. Some individuals might have allergies or may not feel comfortable around dogs and cats. So, gauging a general feel for how pets might be accepted is a critical place to start. If everyone is on board, the next step is establishing a solid pet policy so the entire team is up to speed on the rules and expectations. Next, employees should thoroughly pet-proof the office to make sure everyone’s furry friends are safe and secure. From hiding electrical cords to improving the office security system, there is a plethora of adjustments that should be made to best accommodate furry and non-furry workers. While there is some preparation involved, taking the time to check all of these boxes will ensure everyone can reap the benefits of working in a pet-friendly environment.
Establishing a Pet Policy
After getting approval from the management team and employee support, establishing a comprehensive pet policy is a must to avoid potential conflict and confusion. There are several samples of these online, however, it might be most beneficial for employers and employees to collaborate on one as a team in order for everyone’s needs to be met. Some important points to include would be providing proof of vaccinations and spay or neutering procedures, whether or not the dog has completed obedience training, basic behavioral standards, and a list of appropriate areas for your pets to relieve themselves. While this is not an extensive list, these points are a solid starting point to ensure total accountability. To avoid potential liability issues, employers should develop a list of non-tolerated behaviors and consequences in the case they occur, such as biting or excessive barking. In the case of service or emotional support animals, requesting for these essential animals to be brought into the workplace should be treated as any other accommodation. Additionally, employers might also want to consider offering a pet insurance plan to pet parents. While not everyone will need it, offering this benefit makes working for the company all the more valuable.
Safe and Sound: Creating a Secure, Pet-friendly Environment
Pet-proofing can be done in a variety of ways according to the needs and budget of the office. By checking this step off of the prep list, the office space can stay damage-free and several safety hazards and accidents can be avoided. Covering electrical outlets, hiding cords, and toxic cleaning supplies are the most essential ways to pet-proof the space. Pet owners should also consider purchasing baby gates or crates to contain their dogs and cats to keep them from roaming around the office unattended, keeping accidents at a minimum and peace at a maximum. Pet food and supplies should be kept in a locked cabinet or container to remain secure after hours. If you are considering expanding your office space to include a separate pet-free zone for those who do not want to be disturbed or are allergic to pets, consider making a new set of keys for everyone in the office to access the space when desired. If your office is in need of a security system update, why not contact your local Pop-A-Lock professionals and ask for a new video surveillance system. Not only will this enhance your security but it can also lower insurance premiums.
Release the Hounds
After putting together a pet policy and pet-proofing your space, it’s time to get excited for mid-day head scratches and rounds of fetch. When bringing animals into new environments it is essential for all employees to take time to set their pets up for success. Setting aside time for lunch and potty breaks will help keep you and your pets happy for the whole workday. Because some accidents are bound to happen, be sure to clean up any and all messes your pet makes to keep your space fresh. Also, when it’s time to pack up for the day, pick up all water and food bowls to keep pests away. By following these simple steps, employees and their furry friends are bound to be set for success.