Most people with pets would agree having a dog, cat, potbelly pig or any other variety of animal at home makes life inherently better. So why not make office life better through the magic of pets, too? Even something as simple as a fish can brighten an office environment, give employees something new to look at and discuss, and bring something new for employees to have a passion for.
Purina has provided five ways to make sure your office is pet-ready before you bring Fido or Fluffy to your desk:
- Get Everyone To Agree – If you are spearheading a pets-at-work initiative and you are not in a management role, make sure you go through management first. Don’t just involve your co-workers. The excitement of your co-workers is equally important, but step one is to get managers to sign off on the initiative. Then you can rally support from your cubicle mates once those up the ladder know what’s going on.
- Set Up Rules – Determine exactly which pets are going to be allowed at work. You don’t necessarily want someone bringing their pet tarantula or python – basically nothing that could set off someone’s animal-related anxieties. Also make sure there are pet-free areas at work. Bathrooms, areas where food are prepared and lobbies are good places to start. You will also want to make sure none of your co-workers have pet allergies. If so, a pet-at-work plan may not be the best for your office.
- Have People Sign Off – Once rules are agreed upon, draft up a document to have people sign. You don’t want people to start taking advantage of the situation. Your office shouldn’t become a pet daycare center. It’s a place for pets to cohabitate with employees and add to the office, not become nuisances. Make sure there’s a clause in your document that lists potential punishments for those who violate the rules.
- Tell The Cleaning Team – If you’ve ever cleaned an office before, you know there’s nothing worse than finding that open can of tuna someone forgot was in their trash can from several days before. So imagine how horrible it would be if your cleaning crew found something your pet left behind and they were unaware pets were now allowed in the office. In addition to warding off any pet surprises, you can also work with your cleaning crew to make sure materials are on hand to clean up any pet accidents.
- Double Check Facilities – Once you have everyone on board, the final step to a pet-friendly workplace is to make sure it’s actually feasible. If your company rents or leases space, you will want to check with your landlord. Also make sure you have areas where pets aren’t allowed blocked off with baby gates or that you leave doors shut.
Having a pet-friendly workplace can certainly increase productivity and allow employees to mingle and interact on a different level. In fact, pets in the workplace can make work a more tolerable place to be. Just make sure to follow the steps listed above and don’t just show up to work with your best friend.