These days an increasing number of workplaces are becoming pet friendly, with major companies like Amazon, Airbnb, and even Uber jumping on the pets-in-the-workplace bandwagon. (Figo is also a pet friendly office!)
Before you show up to work with your dog or cat, there are some important factors to consider. If already have a pet friendly workplace or are thinking of suggesting the idea to your coworkers, here are a few tips to help you get started.
Before You Bring Your Pet to the Office
Allowing pets in the workplace has generated some major benefits for companies and their workers. The presence of a pet can reduce employee stress, decrease absenteeism, boost morale, and even increase productivity. However, not all workplaces are safe or appropriate for pets.
If you’re considering making your workplace pet friendly, start by generating discussion on the idea:
Gauge interest among your coworkers.
Emphasize the benefits of a pet-friendly workplace.
Be sure the workplace can accommodate pets.
Explore what would be needed to make your workplace pet friendly.
Suggest a trial run.
By building consensus among colleagues and supervisors, you can create a workplace pet policy that protects both pets and workers.
Guidelines for Having Your Pet in the Office
If your workplace is already pet friendly or is in the process of creating a pets-on-premises policy, there are a few things to consider about pet (and owner) etiquette to ensure the rights and needs of all are protected.
Pet Etiquette Examples
All pets should be current on their vaccinations.
All pets should be treated against parasites like fleas and ticks.
All pets should be clean.
All pets should be on their best behavior, both with people and with other animals.
All pets should have provisions for food and potty breaks.
Other Considerations for Pets In The Workplace
You know your pet better than anyone; so, it’s up to you to decide whether your animal would thrive in a workplace environment. Gauge your pet’s temperament before doing a trial run. Animals that are aggressive, destructive, or hyperactive, for example, would not make good candidates for workplace companions.
Pets with special dietary or health needs, however, can be accommodated if you are willing to bring the needed supplies (e.g. food, medications) to work and administer them to your pet.
Also, consider what kind of environment the workplace would have for pets.
Decide which areas of the office would be off limits to pets.
Decide what areas would be dedicated to pet feeding.
Designate and area where pets could toilet.
Designate a place where pet waste can be safely discarded.
Decide what (if any) pet toys would be permitted in the office.
We hope this information will help you create a safe, pet-friendly workspace beneficial to both people and animals. Remember to get feedback and suggestions from your coworkers too, as this will help present a unified approach to your employer.
Editor’s Note: Employers are opening their doors to pets. In addition to allowing pets in the workplace, some employers are offering pet insurance plans and pet bereavement time to promote a healthy work culture.
Cecily Kellogg is a pet lover who definitely has crazy cat lady leanings. Her pets are all shelter rescues, including the dog, who is scared of the cats. She spent eight years working as a Veterinary Technician before becoming a writer. Today she writes all over the web, including here at Figo.