How To Create a Pets in the Workplace Policy

By Sabrina Munns | Engagement | 8 min read

A pet in the workplace policy is a weird one because it simultaneously feels like a terrible idea and a fantastic idea.

On the one hand, pets are messy, disruptive, and distracting. But on the other hand, people love animals. A cat curled up asleep on your lap can do wonders for your stress levels, while a friendly office dog could make anyone genuinely look forward to coming to work.

This is why, if you’re going to let animals into the workplace, you need a policy. With a pet in the workplace policy you and your team can enjoy all the benefits that loving animals can bring, while carefully managing all of the challenges that come with owning pets.

 

The Benefits of Pets in the Workplace

 

Dog in the workplace

 

Before you think about how to take a moment to think about why. If you can clearly communicate just what you want to achieve with your pets in the workplace policy, you’ll be more likely to get the support you need from your decision-makers.

Handled correctly, pets in the workplace policy can bring a number of benefits:

  1. Increased Employee Engagement and Motivation – Animals just bring out the best in some people. The company of a fluffy friend could make help certain employees to find more joy in their work. And from this increased engagement you might expect a boost to productivity.
  2. Reduce Stress Levels – Studies have found links between pet ownership and reduced stress levels. Your pets in the workplace policy could be the key to managing stress in your workplace. Also, if you have dogs in the office, the team could take it in turns to take this dog for walks, or to the park for a game of fetch. This is a great way to introduce physical activity into the working day, which is a key part of any employee wellbeing program.
  3. Better Workplace Relationships – People bond over their love for animals. Your pets in the workplace policy could be just the thing to bring your team together. You might also expect better relationships between employees and managers. Employees are likely to think highly of management that lets them take their pets to work.
  4. Improved Reputation – When word gets out that you let your staff bring pets to work, people may start to see your company as creative, compassionate and forward-thinking. This will help you attract the top talent you need to succeed, and it may even convince certain clients and customers to start working with you. Also, if you’re struggling for marketing ideas, pictures of cute animals tend to perform very well on every social media platform.

The Downsides of Pets in the Workplace Policy

 

 

With such benefits in store, why doesn’t every company have pets in the workplace policy?

Because, of course, there are some real downsides to letting animals into the workplace:

How to Create a Workplace Pets Policy for Your Business

 

 

You’ve weighed up the pros and cons and you’ve decided that you’re going to let employees bring their pets to work. So now it’s time to put your policy together.

Your policy is going to have to meet the specific needs of your workplace and your people. But here are some elements you might consider including:

Please bear in mind that your policy should not extend to service animals. This is a separate issue entirely! Service animals should be free to go wherever their owners need them, and they count as a “reasonable adjustment” any company must make to make their workplace more accessible.

 

Is Your Business Ready for Pets in the Workplace?

 

 

You may have read all this and decided that a pet in the workplace policy is more trouble than it’s worth.

But don’t worry. You can still enjoy all the benefits of pets in the workplace policy can bring by taking a holistic approach to employee wellbeing.


View our blog on 7 of the best Wellbeing programs.

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