Should you allow pets at work? You love your team, and your team love their pets. We all see the 'office dogs' on LinkedIn, but how can your company
Should you allow pets at work?
You love your team, and your team love their pets. We all see the ‘office dogs’ on LinkedIn, but how can your company get involved, and should you? A 2015 Society for Human Resource Management survey found 8% of American workplaces allow employees to bring their furry loved ones to work, and up from 5 percent in 2013 and according to CNBC – more than 2,000 dogs are brought in regularly to Amazon’s main campus where about 25,000 employees work!
We want to be more family and fur friendly – but what do you have to consider?
There are lots of things to think about. First of all, pet care during the working day can stack up – a simple dog walking service can be as much as £15 – £30 for just an hour, dependent on location. Dog creche and nursery services are available, but even the most dedicated employee will need to zip off to pick up Fido at a realistic hour – no late nights and emergency calls.
Then you have other employees to consider. Many employees may have a fear or a phobia of animals. They may even keep this hidden – especially if during interview you spoke in great glowing terms about your great love and adoration for your 12 Great Danes! You need to source this information quickly before you make a decision! Why not try a survey?
On top of this, who would be allowed space at the pet table? Would just senior members of the team be allowed? Would you differentiate by size? Or manners?
Many office dogs turn out to be the ‘managers dog’ – and for good reason. Policing an ‘all dogs policy’ can be a nightmare – and that’s before you find out there are fleas in meeting room 2…. You have to consider implications in the areas of health, safety and insurance.
A good solution could be the same perks offered by companies like BrewDog – puppy paternity leave – called, charmingly – paw-ternity. Time off to care for a pet could be a nice perk and could show your family friendly values, slotting nicely into your employee benefit repertoire. You don’t even have to make it specific – any pet can fit the bill, so to speak. Other ideas could be donations to animal charities, a company adoption policy (great for experiences and visits) or employee benefits and perks that involve pets – there are a range of reward subscription boxes that could do this in a quirky fashion – without any flea bitten ankles in the office!
Scheduled pet time
Another alternative? A pet calendar. Schedule in days for pets to allowed into the office, making sure you have made preparations for those who mighty suffer from fears or allergies to be allowed to work in a remote capacity, or in a space that’s pet free.
If it’s still an area of mystery – why not try it out for a day? Bring Your Dog to Work Day is on 24 June every year – and could be the ideal taster day.
What do you think? Join in the chat on twitter – search for @incentivehub