Why is it good to create a pet-friendly work environment?
We spend a third of the day in the office, so more and more companies want to contribute to reducing stress in the work environment. Benefits for those who allow pets in offices are immediately visible: they become nicer and healthier places to work, opening the door to pets improves the image of the company, also both clients and employees appreciate this type of engagement, and the positive approach inspires others to change their habits. In the end, the presence of dogs creates more trust among co-workers and leads to better cooperation.
What is a pet-friendly office?
The pet-friendly office aims to improve the quality of life of its employees and create a more comfortable work environment by allowing them to bring their pets to work.
This can be achieved by applying effective tactics that seem complex at first glance but are cost-effective in the long run. Small things like designing a space for pets, providing water containers or cushions (with the company logo), treats at the reception desk, hygiene bags, places to store leashes, and even occasionally hiring pet sitters will make the investment pay off. All of the above does not require a huge budget, and as a result, the company itself becomes more productive and contributes to spreading public awareness of the importance of responsible ownership.
Only in 2020, the percentage in the number of pets increased by 40%, and as the laws of some European countries are very strict in sanctioning neglect, which includes a too-long absence of the owner from the house, you can read more here, there are more and more companies that allow employees to bring them to work.
Although still controversial and insufficiently promoted, this topic is becoming increasingly important from the point of work-life balance and quality time spent at work. Its influence expands not only when it comes to being in the office, but also when we refer to the communication itself.
The first step towards the implementation of the new rules is certainly the information whether there is interest among employees in a pet-friendly environment, as well as open communication in case of any inconvenience (phobias, allergies, etc.), and then adopting a protocol defining the rules. It specifies undesirable behaviors (barking, aggression, etc.), allowed areas (kitchen, elevator, common areas), as well as possible requirements for keeping pets on a leash.
The initiative itself can go through a trial period during which it will be determined whether everyone involved in it, especially pets, feels good about it, and even the number of pets that are allowed in one day.
The experience of large companies such as Purina, which came out with the principle “imagine that pets in the office are not a privilege but a standard” in 2003, emphasizes the satisfaction they bring to all employees, from administration to management. In 2017, this company conducted a survey according to which 50% of respondents who did not have a pet saw dogs in the office as a positive experience.
At the same time, pet-friendly offices emphasize the importance of planning when it comes to the time employees spend walking out with their pets, their interaction with each other, undesirable behaviors, tolerance for people, etc.
In order to prevent possible inconveniences, it is necessary for companies to remind the staff of the basic social norms, but also to establish their own, which employees will accept before they decide to come to work in a company.
In addition to the advantages of pet-friendly regulations, constant education about the responsibilities and importance of socialization is set as the norm when it comes to the work environment.
On the welfare laws as well as the development of pet-friendly services in Serbia we wrote in previous blogs, and companies that are not directly focused on pets, but at the same time want to make the environment more open and accessible are free to act within their capabilities and goals.
Since PTA certification defines and promotes clear and controlled standards, they can also be taken as a basis for promoting pet-friendly workspaces.
Author: Marina Stancevic