Generally, office pets aren’t that bad. Their presence can be a welcome stress relief and it’s always fun to have one as the company mascot.
However, it’s also obvious that cleaning up after them is a must. Employees who are not aware of these responsibilities only end up getting more stressed (which defeats the purpose of having adorable creatures around in the first place).
Before the adopting the policy of a pet-friendly workplace, you need to first discuss the requirements with both your own staff and also whoever performs cleaning duties. Among these include:
1. Set a range of allowable pets
What kind of pets do you and your employees think are most suitable for your particular office? If you have too many climbing edges around, it might not be advisable to include cats. The same goes if your cleaning staff will only have a tougher job with dogs shedding on the carpet.
Allergies and even personal discomfort play a significant role as well. It’s sad to say but not all people are used to having animals walking around.
That is why it is important to have the discussion before a policy is implemented. Make arrangements to ensure that the office is not just mentally prepared but also environmentally equipped to be pet-friendly.
2. Ensure training and care.
Potty training will prove critical, as well as training employees on what they are allowed to do with their pets. The pets should also be trained so as to not create unnecessary noise and distraction during work hours.
And as a side note, it is also not advisable for both the pet’s health and the health of the office to frequently leave them there for several nights at a time. Make sure employees bring the pets home at regular intervals for some quality time there as well.
3. Have considerable food and water around.
If a pet also happens to be the company mascot, then it is only right that a certain amount of food is available to your animal friend. Said food should also be stored properly where all employees can locate it.
If whenever possible, dry food is a bit more preferable than wet food as this will mean less chances of having to store it in the company refrigerator.
4. Be mindful of all spaces that the pet can walk into.
Large or small, pets can be anywhere and even an animal-friendly office can still have areas where unfortunate accidents can happen.
When discussing with employees, review a layout of your office and identify all areas that must have doors closed at all times. These can be the entrance to the main hallway or maybe even the office of a particular higher-up. Make sure cleaning staff are aware of what these places are and can remember to keep the closed while they do their duties.
Just as you would in your own home, office pets need to be trained and treated to a particular environment to keep them and your employees comfortable. Again, they can be a great ‘addition’ to your staff but make sure they are also well cared for!