Studies have proven pets at work can have surprising positive impacts on the mental health and productivity of staff. And, the good news is, pets in the workplace are an increasingly common sight across British Columbia.
South of the border, companies such as Amazon are pioneering the trend, with up to 1,000 pampered pooches coming to work at Amazon HQ each day alongside their owners. Should your business get on board?
Creating a Pets in the Workplace Policy
First, it’s vital to create a robust “pets in the workplace policy” so your staff are aware of the boundaries that apply. While we love them all equally, some dogs can be messy and distracting. Your policy document should lay out the behaviours that are expected for a dog in the workplace. Here are some brief pointers for creating your workplace policy for pets:
- Allergies: Estimates suggest up to a third of the population suffers from some sort of pet allergy. Before you welcome any dogs in the office, it’s recommended you establish if any of your team is affected by pet allergies. After you implement a pet-friendly workplace policy, ensure any new members of your team are asked about potential allergies. The comfort and health of your staff remains the number one priority.
- Fear: The fear of dogs is one of the most common phobias in the world. If the presence of a puppy in the workplace is potentially debilitating for a team member it should be considered a non-starter.
- Disobedience: Not all dogs are trained equally. Poorly trained dogs in the office present several potential safety issues. If a dog has demonstrably shown it’s a disruptive factor, it’s ok to clarify it’s no longer welcome.
- Cleaning Responsibilities: Accidents happen. Establish before the fact who is responsible for cleaning up any messes, or the cost cleaning them up incurs. Consider an updated cleaning schedule for your workplace if pets are allowed.
With these rules in place, a dog-friendly workplace grants plenty of amazing benefits for employees.
The Benefits of Pets in the Workplace
Innovative companies have long understood the importance of keeping staff happy. Allowing pets in the workplace can instantly boost this effort with minimal spend. For starters, your staff will revel in the increased companionship provided by their dogs. They’ll also feel reduced guilt as the animal won’t be home alone during the day.
In a study carried out by Central Michigan University, the presence of pets in the workplace was proven to have a positive impact on communication and cooperation between staff members. Dogs provide an amazing way to break the ice and give members of your team something to bond over. This can have long-lasting effects on collaboration and smooth communication between teams.
Attracts Talented People
Millennials are often swayed to join a company by the job perks they offer. Whether it’s the ability to work remotely, a more relaxed dress code, or flexible hours, they’re motivated by the perks you can offer as much as the compensation they’ll receive. A pet-friendly workplace policy is an attractive perk that will leave your business well placed to attract top talent.
Find Out More
Unsure if a dog-friendly workplace is right for your business? Why not talk to our HR expert? These one-on-one business consultations offer the perfect environment to discuss your pressing HR needs.