A dog-friendly office can be beneficial for employees. It saves them money on pet sitters and doggy daycares when they can’t leave their pets at home alone. Having dogs around also creates a fun atmosphere because the staff can play with their coworkers' pets during breaks—which can help reduce stress. Also, allowing dogs in the workplace can improve worker productivity. When your employees are not worrying about rushing home to feed or walk their dogs, they become more focused on their tasks.
Although it can be exciting and have positive effects, there are some things you need to consider before allowing dogs into your workplace. Does your office building allow dogs? Are all your employees comfortable having dogs around?
So before you order a batch of customizable branded dog ties or customized pet merchandise with your company’s logo for four-legged officemates, make sure to read through this guide for setting up a dog-friendly office.
Consider Your Location and Organization’s Work Culture
One of the initial considerations when setting up a dog-friendly office is to check if your office building allows dogs on its premises. There may be additional fees or rules for shared common spaces such as the lobby or elevators.
You also need to think about how a dog-friendly culture can impact your organization. If your office often welcomes guests for important business meetings, having dogs around may not be a good option as some people may not be comfortable with pets. If dogs are allowed to wander freely, they might also be a cause of distractions during meetings.
You might also encounter some issues if your office’s dress code is strict about being in business attire. Pawprints and pet hair on suits and dresses do not look very professional. However, if your work environment is more laid-back and only needs smart-casual office attire, it will be more manageable to have dogs in the space.
Make Sure Employees Would Welcome a Dog-Friendly Workspace
After assessing if a dog-friendly workplace is a good fit for your company culture, make sure to consider what your employees think about the idea. Do you have a lot of dog owners among your staff? Do they support a dog-friendly policy in the office? You can have a quick survey to find out how most of your employees feel about it.
Additionally, you need to listen to co-workers who don’t share the same sentiment. It’s important to hear everyone out so your company cultivates a work environment where everyone is welcome. Some people could be allergic to dogs or are fearful of the animal. If this is a concern among your employees, one solution you can consider is to create separate areas in the office to accommodate people who are dog owners and who are not. For example, you can dedicate one floor where people can bring their dogs to work while another floor will be strictly off-limits to pets.
Encourage Responsible Dog Ownership
When setting up a dog-friendly office, you need to lay some rules that your employees need to follow. It ensures pet parents remain responsible for their furry friends while at the office. You can start with a list of requirements to ensure that all dogs are up to date with their shots and are housebroken.
To promote responsible pet parenting, be flexible about your employees taking their dogs outside for quick breaks. Also, make sure your employees have access to clean-up bags and scoopers for pet waste. You need to ensure that your office and nearby areas stay clean and presentable to prevent issues with the building owner and other occupants.
Promote a Safe Environment for Everyone
While having dogs in the office can help boost the mood of your employees, you need to make sure that your work environment stays professional and is safe for everyone. The dogs must behave properly and not interrupt business operations or disturb other employees. They should be properly trained, social and not display aggressive behavior toward people and animals in the workplace.
Additionally, watch out for any workplace hazards that can arise due to the presence of dogs in the office. For instance, dog bowls, pet toys and accidental spillage on a walking path can become a slipping hazard while leashes can cause tripping. Even if you want to have a dog-friendly office, your employees’ safety must always be your utmost priority.
Having a dog-friendly office can have a lot of positive effects on your employees but adopting this as a new policy requires careful consideration. Take time to study it well and make the necessary preparations. This way, you can set up a dog-friendly workplace that’s safe and enjoyable for all your employees and their beloved canine companions.
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