Furry friends are becoming essential members of US families. In fact, there are 89.7 million people with dogs in the United States. Therefore, it’s not surprising companies are implementing pet-friendly policies into the workplace. Besides from attempting to attract and retain employees, young workers (who add a great percentage of the workforce nowadays) are delaying parenthood and opting for “fur babies”, so businesses that support pet owners are really attractive.
Nevertheless, workplaces who want to be part of this trend must analyze if the space, most of the tenants and the overall market that operates in the building are adequate and willing to move into this work philosophy. Here’s a list of some of the basic considerations you must look after in case you’re planning to welcome furry coworkers.
Create a dog-committee
Gather a group made up of dog owners and non-dog owners to create a policy that considers both perspectives. Openly talk about the responsibilities owners should have regarding their pets, and think about any possible situations that could eventually become an issue. For instance, what if a dog is left without supervision in the office and its behavior disturbs other members? This is also the space for creating a clear process for people who want to fill a complaint and enforce the rules set in the dog policy.
Make tenants comfortable
Although there will be many tenants excited about having a pet-friendly environment, there are others who would raise their hands for an explanation. For this reason, it’s essential for you to establish some ground rules to make most of them happy. Some of these include:
- Have a dog-free zone for employees with allergies or who are frightened of dogs.
- Dogs must be kept on leashes at all times in common areas.
- Dogs should not be left alone in the office.
- Squeaky toys shouldn’t be allowed for not disturbing others.
Study a dog’s behavior
Before bringing a dog into the office, owners must be conscious of their pet’s personality. Not every dog is a good fit for a shared office. There’s always a high volume of people coming in that might drive them to bark, or other dogs around that could induce a fight. For minimizing this risk, dogs should be “interviewed” for acceptability into the workplace. By doing this, you see if dogs are friendly to humans and other dogs, and whether they feel comfortable around the office. The last thing you want to happen is to have stressed dogs around with excessive panting, drooling, and pinned-back ears.
For ensuring more control, you could have a three strike rule for both dogs and owners. For example, if an owner didn’t pick after a dog he would receive a strike. In case, owner and dog reach strike three the dog should immediately leave the office.
Healthy, clean environment
It’s really important to ensure a clean workplace for both tenants and dogs. Therefore, owners should demonstrate their pet is free of illness and is up to date on vaccinations and flea protection. The workplace should also guarantee an outdoor area for dog breaks. If possible, a fenced, grassy space distant from common areas like the kitchen, to avoid contamination issues. In order to keep the office clean of any unwanted “surprises” left by any dog, basic training should be a must. Additionally, it’s important for landlords to evaluate the maximum number of dogs permitted on the building. This will prevent any sanitary problems to arise.
Pet-friendly companies around the US
- Kimpton Hotels (San Francisco, CA) – In this boutique hotels, they have a pet policy: Every dog that can fit into the door is welcomed to the premises. All of the 60 hotels are equipped with water bowls, treats, pet beds and toys. They even have a Director of Pet Relations responsible for greeting guests and their dogs, and showing them the different pet amenities around.
- Tradesy (Santa Monica, CA) – This marketplace has more than 30 dogs to come to work every day. They are called Dog “buddies” because they help owners watch their pets during busy days or meetings. This company also has a quarterly Dog Owner Town Hall where all of the dog owners gather to plan events with their pets. Plus, part of the benefits programs of the organization includes pet insurance.
- Kurgo (Salisbury, MA) – This company which specializes in clothing and accessories for dogs, allows pets in the office and makes them part of the company’s image.
If you’re not a landlord looking to include a pet-friendly policy, but a company looking to rent an office with this inclusive management, there are many business centers in the USA that offer this to tenants. You can contact a professional and let him handle your search so you find the perfect fit for you and your team’s furry friends.