Should You Allow Pets at the Office?

Bringing pets into work isn’t just a perk for companies selling pet-related products and services. Pet-friendly workplaces are becoming more popular amongst other businesses as well. Some notable examples are Google, Etsy, Ben & Jerry’s, and Amazon.

As with every perk, however, there are pros and cons to allowing employees to bring their pets into work with them. Before making a decision, you should consider both the positives and negatives of having a pet-friendly workplace. In addition, you should check the laws that may affect your company’s ability to allow pets. For example, any company that serves food may be restricted from allowing pets by the FDA.

Stress Reducers

One of the benefits of allowing pets in the workplace can greatly reduce your employees’ stress. They may feel more comfortable and more relaxed when there are pets around them. Pets can stimulate conversation, both between employees and with customers. With pets in the office, it’s easier to foster the right kind of atmosphere for teamwork and cooperation.

Financial Benefits

Additionally, for those employees who own pets, being able to bring them into the office can help them save money they would have to spend on pet care. They won’t have to worry about their pets home alone or about having to hire a dog walker or pet sitter. On top of that, pet-owners won’t have to rush home from work to let their pets out and may often end up working longer hours.

Employee Retention

Like many work perks, allowing pets at the office has many indirect effects. Employees who are less stressed are also more productive, which will benefit the company. In addition, perks like a pet-friendly workplace make employees feel valued. Employees who enjoy their work and feel valued by their company are more likely to stay. Employee turnover can cost companies a lot of money and allowing pets can be an easy way to improve employee retention.

Allergy and Health Risks

Despite the benefits of having pets in the workplace, it may not be a perk for everyone. Some of your staff may have allergies, which can range from mild to severe. For these employees, pets in the workplace could pose serious health risks. Other employees may have phobias of certain animals. Having to be around something they’re afraid of every day can affect employee stress levels and productivity just as much as the health risks associated with allergic reactions can.

If you choose to allow pets in the workplace, you’ll need to make sure that there is a pet-free area that can accommodate employees with allergies or fears.

Accidents, Interruptions, and Damage

No matter how vigilant a pet owner is, there’s no guarantee that a pet won’t have an accident inside the office. Plus, their owners will need to take breaks in order to take them outside. Animals may also bark or otherwise make noise that can distract staff. Some animals may also cause physical damage to furniture or carpet in the office.

Before allowing pets in the office, it’s important to create an official policy and guidelines for staff to follow. If you’re looking for a HRIS to manage your company’s policies, guidelines, and employee benefits and perks, visit our Vendor Match page to get started. We’ll help find the right software solution for you.

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