Offices across the country are choosing to become pet-friendly to take advantage of the benefits of making every day, bring your dog to work day. Employers who offer the dogs at work benefit often see the development of a unique company culture, a rise in employee retention, and an increase in teamwork. Employees benefit with reduced stress at work, improved health and morale, and the ability to take a break to stretch their legs and refresh their minds with some puppy playtime. But how do you keep everyone happy when a company wants to become pet-friendly, but a few employees are hesitant to work with office dogs?
Take a Survey
Before a company rules on becoming dog-friendly, it’s important to ask employees how they feel about such a significant change. While employees may vote in favor of canine coworkers, there may be a few who have concerns. It’s important that all employees have a say in this change as you don’t want to create a work environment that makes anyone uncomfortable!
In most cases, employees who are hesitant will be willing to brainstorm alternate options, so their coworkers can still enjoy the benefits of having dogs at work. Explaining the pet policy and new workplace rules can help put many employees’ minds at ease and have them just as excited to work with dogs.
Dog-free zones are a great way to provide a buffer between office dogs and employees who would prefer to keep their distance. Larger companies can create entire dog-free floors, but smaller companies may need to set aside a few offices and desks connected to the breakroom, bathroom, conference rooms and exits, that are dog-free.
With the implementation of a dogs at work program, all employees should be informed of the rules including areas of the office that are out of bounds for dogs. To ensure dogs stay outside of dog-free zones, signs can be posted marking boundaries of dog friendly areas and dogs can be required to be on a leash or safely gated in at his/her owner’s desk.
Work from Home
If your company offers the flexibility to work from home, this might be a good opportunity for some employees to take advantage of this option! Every company will have its own rules regarding what days dogs can visit the office, but on the days when pups peruse the hallways, allowing certain employees to work from home may be a great way to keep everyone happy.
Establish a Schedule
Creating a schedule of days during which dogs are allowed in the office may be a good choice if you have a lot of four-legged friends interviewing to join your company. Keeping the number of dogs to a manageable level can reduce pet dander, keep distractions to a minimum, and ensure both employees and dogs have a productive and fun day in the office.
One reason an employee may be hesitant to embrace the idea of allowing dogs in the workplace is allergies. A stuffy nose and sore throat are not something employees should have to face every day at work. Choosing to increase the number of days that your office is thoroughly cleaned can help to remove irritating pet dander. Consider establishing a schedule where dogs come into the workplace towards the end of the week, so a thorough cleaning can be done over the weekend before employees arrive back at work on Monday.
In addition, providing air purifiers for dog-free zones or the desks of employees who are allergic to dogs may be a cost-effective way to allow a pet-friendly workplace. Air purifiers capture airborne particulates such as pet dander and remove them from the workspace reducing the particles employees breathe in that cause allergic reactions. Many office and desk purifiers can be purchased online and are inexpensive, easy to tuck away, and extremely effective!
DogsAtWork Program Guide
Introducing a program allowing dogs in your company will require some preliminary action on the part of employers. Establishing rules that create a safe, fun, and controlled work environment for both two and four-legged workers is key. Choosing to work closely with an office dog should be up to employees, and by ensuring all dogs certified for the workplace are calm and well-trained, you can help to keep everyone at ease! Consider using the DogsAtWork program guide to prepare your office for dogs, so everyone on your team can enjoy this trending benefit!