As workers continue to return to the office in the new year, many are concerned that their pets will be lonely if they are left behind at home. As a result, they’re exploring ways to continue spending time with their furry friends during the workday. In fact, 72% of pet owners said being able to bring pets to work is important, according to an online survey conducted on behalf of the CESAR® brand.
As part of its mission to make the world (including office spaces) dog friendly, the brand uncovered some benefits of a pet-friendly workplace, including boosting happiness and relieving stress:
Here are some facilities considerations to keep in mind as you create a pet-friendly workplace, courtesy of Better Cities for Pets:
- Permission from your landlord, if you don’t own your workspace. You may need to adjust your lease and/or change your insurance to accommodate pets. Also ensure that there aren’t any local laws or regulations that would preclude having pets at work.
- At least one nearby pet relief area with a pet waste station and trash container that is emptied on a regular basis to control odors. If you are not near a public space that has these, you’ll need to add them on your property. Here are best practices to consider.
- Signage that directs employees to the pet relief area and provides instructions for use.
- An emergency plan that includes pets if evacuation is needed.
- A pet-friendly water fountain with a refillable water bottle option for humans and a ground-based pet water fountain. If you can’t install a water fixture, have a plan for water bowls that are regularly filled throughout the day. Use ceramic or metal water bowls and make sure they’re washed frequently.
- Have clean-up supplies available on site in case of pet accidents, and signage that tells people how to use the cleaners and what other steps are needed, if any.
- Be sure that you can separate pet-friendly areas from any that need to remain pet-free zones. (For example, manufacturing areas, labs, places with sensitive equipment, and areas where food is served.) You may need to add doors or half walls to manage where pets can and cannot go.
- Consider ventilation upgrades to help minimize the spread of pet dander.
- Consider increasing cleaning frequency, particularly in areas with soft surfaces such as carpet or upholstery, to which dirt and pet dander are more likely to cling.
- Consider creating a pet care station or closet with supplies for cleaning up pets who get dirty outside, pet snacks and other pet-friendly amenities.