It’s no secret that more and more UK businesses are becoming pet friendly. Though it used to be frowned
upon, we’re happy to report that having our furry friends around the office is becoming much more widely
accepted across organizations.
There are countless benefits of having our pooches around us in the workplace. Research conducted by the
University of Lincoln in 2019 found that employees who often took their dogs to work had 22% higher
satisfaction with their working conditions.
Now that lockdown restrictions have been lifted in the UK, a survey by comparethemarket.com showed that
42% of workers were hoping to bring their dogs into the office.
If you’re a business owner who is thinking about introducing pet-friendly policies in your workplace, here is a
list of things you may need to consider before diving right in.
Ask Your Team First
Before endorsing a pet-friendly policy, it’s important to first get your colleagues views on it. There are several different methods you can use to gather this intel from your team. Anonymous surveys can be a great way of getting honest opinions from workers who may not wish to offend others if their thoughts differ. It’s also important to find out if anyone has any allergies which may need to be considered.
Create a Pet-Friendly Space
If you’re planning on inviting furry friends into the office, it’s important to ensure you adapt your office space to be pet friendly. This can include things such as investing in food and water bowls, doggy treats, and toys to keep them entertained. You’ll also need to ensure there is a suitable enclosed outdoor area that’s safe for them to use for toilet stops and to get some fresh air throughout the working day.
It’s important that clear signage is used to display relevant rules for pet owners if they decide to bring their
dogs into the office. These can act as a friendly reminder of any dos and don’ts while their pooches are in the workplace.
It’s also important to consider that different dogs have different temperaments. If there are several dogs in the office at once, some could clash. Consider creating safeguarding rules to cater for such instances, alongside any other relevant regulations you wish to include.
Make dedicated times for interaction
While it can be great for people to have their pets in the office, you’ll want to make sure they don’t just spend the day playing with them and can get all their work done.
Among your rules, you can set aside breaks for interaction. You could also encourage any dog owners in the
office to take walks together during lunch, encouraging them to bond and increasing morale.