Dogs are known as “mans best friend.” In fact, over 1/3 of American households have at least one dog running around. Many other pets have a special place in our hearts as well – 30.4% of households own at least one cat and 3% of households own at least one bird. According to the CDC, there are multiple health benefits to owning a pet including decreased blood pressure, decreased cholesterol levels, increase in exercise and an increase in outdoor activities. So since we all know it’s beneficial to own a pet, why not consider bringing your pet to work with you?
Allowing pets in the workplace is a growing trend as organizations look to keep employees engaged and motivated in the office. Not only do organizations use their pet-friendly policies to retain employees, they use it when looking for employees as well: 79% of HR managers discuss their pet-friendly policies when recruiting employees (Banfield 2016). Are you an HR manager considering implementing pet-friendly policies in your office, or just an employee hoping to convince your organization to do so? Find out how to get started and the benefits once the policies are implemented.
Convincing Your Company
What do Google. Build-a-Bear, Etsy and Amazon have in common? They all have pet-friendly policies, allowing furry friends to come to work with their owners. Want to see about adding your company to this list?
- Have the right tools
Whatever position you hold within the office, Purina offers great employee and employer toolkits that will help you get started. Having the proper background information and paperwork will help make the transition to a pet-friendly workplace a smooth and easy one. As an employer, make sure you especially utilize the authorization forms and checklists, as this will ensure all employees are made aware of the policies, all pets are up-to-date on vaccinations before being brought to work, and everyone – whether human or animal – is kept safe during the workday.
- Focus on the benefits
Too many times employers are quick to rebuttle with how pets may disrupt the workday. Not only should you have the tools ready, but also have the facts ready to back up your argument. This includes everything from how it will benefit employee engagement to the previously mentioned health benefits. As a quick guide, use facts from Banfield’s Pet Friendly Workplace PAWrometer, such as:
- 95% of HR managers believe that allowing pets in the workplace improved work relationships
- 53% of employees in non-pet-friendly workplaces would be more likely to stay if they could bring their pets into the office
- 7 in 10 employees and HR managers believe pets at work make a positive impact on office dynamics and workplace morale
- Consider a bring-your-pet-to-work day
It may seem like a stretch for organizations to suddenly implement pet-friendly policies. To slowly ease into the idea and see first-hand how it improves morale and engagement within the company, consider organizing a bring-your-pet-to-work day. Whether it is once a year or once a month, doing so will show employers and employees how it may benefit the workplace and convince them to turn it into an official full-time policy.
While I am clearly an advocate for companies allowing pets in the workplace, it’s important to consider the employees first and foremost. If there are any hesitancies or issues, such as someone is uncomfortable with it or has severe allergies, understand that a pet-friendly policy isn’t the best decision for your workplace.
However, if everyone is on board and knows the benefits of furry friends in the office, consider implementing a pet-friendly policy. Do your employees not have any pets to even bring in? Why not find a way around this and do some good for a local shelter. Some places, such as The Humane Society of Broward County in Florida, implemented a program known as Snuggle Delivery.
For a donation, puppies or kittens can be brought to a local workplace for employees to get all the kisses they need. Check out your local rescue or shelter and see if there’s a program like this in place. You never know – your employees may adopt some of the animals by the end of the day!