Do you leave your pet staring forlornly at the window or crying the door when you leave for work. Does your pet daycare bill rival child care cost?
There may be help on the way!! Over the past several years the number of workplaces that are “pet-friendly” has almost doubled from 8% to 13% and the trend is gaining in popularity. As researchers and companies are coming to learn this is a situation that can be a win-win for employers and workers alike. (No one has asked the dogs how they feel yet).
Researchers have found and employers report benefits to the bottom line including:
1. Improved morale
2 Improved work productivity
3.Improved employee attendance
4. Increased positive interactions among employees
5. Improved cultural attitudes
The benefits for employees are just as compelling. A study at Virginia Commonwealth University found that a dog-friendly workplace:
1. Lowered stress for employees – including lowered blood pressure and lower reported stress levels
2. Increased perception of organizational support
3. Improved work-life balance
So, what’s not to like? Well, there are a few caveats to keep in mind in creating a pet-friendly workplace, and planning ahead will help ensure success.
1. Establish a pet-planning committee of employees and managers to anticipate issues and establish policies.
2. Insure yourself – The best of pups may misbehave in ways that can cost. Plan ahead.
4. Not everyone likes dogs, and some people find them terrifying. Involve employees in planning to establish “off limits” barriers.
5. Establish membership criteria for the pet participants – behavior, training, temperament, and ability to relate to others- human and canine
6. Define supervision requirements – what level of personal supervision of pets is required?
7. As in the park – you bring it in – you take it out – Employer cleaning costs must be minimized
8. Consider sharing of resources – leashes, pet stroller for elderly or obese dogs, and maybe a toy bank.