masiello employment services pet-friendly workplaces

Has your workplace gone to the dogs? Do you share cubicle space with a purr-fect office cat? As the number of pet-friendly workplaces continues to climb, there are certain paws-itives to inviting pets into the work environment. But, there are definite considerations to make before making the four-legged leap.

Pet-friendly Workplaces Decrease Stress

A study by Virginia Commonwealth University found that having dogs in the workplace made a positive difference for employees. The study showed significant differences in perceived stress between days with dogs present and without them there. Overall, employees also had higher job satisfaction with the dogs around.

This study happened at a retail business in North Carolina that employs 450 people and had about 20 to 30 dogs on the company premises daily. The researchers also observed that employees without a dog would ask to walk a co-worker’s dog, allowing for positive co-worker exchanges and breaks involving healthy activity.

pet-friendly workplaces woman walking dog during lunch breakThe employees in the study shared positive comments related to company morale, cooperation, and stress reduction due to the presence of the dogs. Ultimately, researchers felt that the presence of the dogs served as an affordable wellness intervention.

The overall takeaway is that employers can increase employee job satisfaction by becoming pet-friendly workplaces, with the appropriate policies put into place. 

Additional Perks for Pet Owners

Employees with dogs may be available to work longer hours since they don’t need to worry about getting home to let Fido out. They will miss less work if they don’t need to stay home to care for pets. There is an added benefit of increased productivity from employees who happily have their pets by their side.

Taking steps to protect the mental health of employees and reduce stress helps employers to demonstrate recognition of work/life balance, a best hiring practice of 2021. In other words, small lifestyle perks can make a big difference in attracting candidates and employee retention. 

Check Off the Big Things First

Pets sound all fun and good, however, employers need to take a few big steps before they can consider allowing pets in the workplace. First, check to make sure that the building you occupy allows dogs. Review your lease if the space is rented for any pet rules.

Secondly, call the company’s insurance agent to talk it out. Ensure that there is the proper insurance to cover any injuries or damage that may occur. Liability is a genuine concern for employers.

Proactive Pet Policies Can Prevent Issues

pet-friendly workplaces cat in officeAll employees may not embrace having animals at work due to allergies or phobias to animals. Accommodate those employees. Solutions include a “dog-free” area or filtration systems to reduce allergens. 

Likewise, be prepared that pet-friendly workplaces are a turnoff to some employees. Pets can be seen as unprofessional or annoyances by workers or customers. Address and problem-solve concerns of this type. For instance, designate certain days of the week as pet-free days.

Clearly state in the pet policy that aggressive behavior against other employees and dogs will not be tolerated. Most importantly, consistently enforce the policy. Implement rules regarding the owners’ responsibility for cleaning up after their pets.  

The Do’s and Don’ts of Pets in the Workplace

Finally, PetMD recommends the following do’s and don’ts for bringing your pet into the workplace:

Do:

  • Get proper supervisor/manager approval
  • Make sure co-workers are agreeable 
  • Ensure pets vaccinations are current
  • Keep your pet occupied and happy at work
  • Only bring a well-trained pet to work
  • Exercise your pet before work
  • Bring all necessary pet supplies for the day
  • Be aware and remove any workplace safety hazards

Don’t:

  • Leave your pet unsupervised
  • Leave pet messes behind for someone else to clean up
  • Bring in pets aggressive or untrained pets
  • Force co-workers to be around your pet
  • Allow your to get into  trash or other’s food/belongings
  • Ignore your pet’s signs of stress

 

It’s our mission to connect employers to qualified temporary, temp-to-hire, and direct-hire candidates. Contact Masiello Employment Services to learn more about our specialties and available candidates.