Pros and Cons of Pet Friendly Offices
Office trends are forever changing, but one that has stayed in the loop for a while includes the number of companies opening their doors to pets. Job site giants like Careerbuilder, Monster, and more have been posting listings with benefits that include “pet friendly.”
Some sites even include lists of the top pet-friendly companies, as well as job opportunities, as a way to attract more job-seekers.
Pet Friendly Companies
In addition to the high percentages of pet-related businesses, giant companies like Amazon, Google, Ben & Jerry’s, Etsy, and others all allow employees to bring their pets to work.
But despite this growing trend, this can also bring a number of legal and health risks to the table. Here is a list of pros and cons of pet friendly offices.
Pros of Pet Friendly Offices
1. Reduces stresses and helps with relaxation
Statistics have shown that overall employee satisfaction and morale have increased after companies opened their doors to pets. They are also a point of common interest that can promote teamwork and communication – being that they are great ice breakers.
2. Financial benefit
Every pet parent knows that doggie daycare and dog walking services can be expensive, especially on a daily basis. Some just have no choice if they commute long distances or work long hours. But bringing their pet to work can eliminate a lot of these stresses, skipping the rush to get home from work or paying for someone to walk your dog.
3. Boosts Customer Perception
Many customers will react positively when seeing a pet in the office or when they are allowed the chance to interact with the pet; it can decrease their stress and improve their experience with the business. Having pets in the office can also improve the company’s image, giving it an innovative and progressive atmosphere.
4. Recruiting Tool
It’s been proven that pet friendly companies have a higher chance of recruiting and retaining employees long-term than those that are not. These employees also tend to work longer hours and have fewer absences because they don’t have to worry about rushing home to walk the dog or staying home to care for a sick pet.
After reading these pros, making the office pet friendly can really like a good idea. But as with every decision and trend, there are consequences. Making the office pet friendly is certainly not for every business, such as those operating machinery or in a child daycare for example. Make sure to check out this list of the cons before allowing employees to bring in their furry friends.
Cons of Pet Friendly Offices
1. Pets are a Distraction
While some employees may work longer hours and be more productive with pets, others won’t. Pets can be a distraction for both the owner and neighboring coworkers by barking, whining, and needing frequent walks. They can also attract others who want to interact and play with the pet, when they should be working instead.
2. Allergies and Phobias
The number of people with allergies to pet hair and dander will never improve. While some are willing to deal with the sniffles, others may battle severe reactions and even death when exposed. Some employees may have developed phobias of being around certain types of animals due to past experiences. To combat this issue, some offices are able to designate pet-free zones for those in these situations.
3. Damage to Company Property
As all pet parents are aware, pets can destroy anything, especially shoes. If pets are brought to the office, accidents will happen. Chewing the furniture, carpet, or peeing inside are bound to happen at some point. It’s a risk that all companies face the minute they say “yes” to allowing pets.
4. Legal and Insurance Issues
Nobody will know the pet better than the owners, but as they are animals, their behaviors can be unpredictable. An office environment will be foreign to any animal; therefore, all pets will have different reactions. Different reactions can include fear and being nervous, excitement, and even aggression.
In addition to their behaviors, dogs can trip and even bite coworkers, service providers, other pets, and even customers on company property. This opens the door to a number of insurance and legal issues. Before allowing any pets in the office, discuss all possibilities with an attorney as well as your insurance company to best prepare for the worst situations.
Having a Pet Policy
Having a pet-friendly office environment is a great way to retain employees long-term, but there are drawbacks that all companies will face. Thus, the need to have a pet policy is crucial. This should include what types of pets are allowed, stating the frequency and/or which days pets are allowed, how they are to be contained, and placing an animal on probation (or permanently banning them) for destruction or showing aggression.
Becoming Pet Friendly
Many companies may own the building in which they operate, but others may lease from an association. Whether or not that association allows pets is up to them, so the employer may have no say in whether to allow pets or not. If having a pet friendly office is something you believe in, make sure to discuss this with the building manage before signing any lease. Otherwise, you may need to look into owning the property instead.
Help with Moving
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