If your office is pet friendly, you’re in good company. Some of the world’s top companies welcome pet companions — Google, Ben & Jerry’s, Amazon, Bissell and Proctor & Gamble are all Fido-friendly workplaces. In fact, the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association reports that 20 percent of U.S. workplaces have now opened their doors to staff members’ pets. Many business owners still refuse to consider allowing pets in the office, but the research demonstrates many persuasive reasons for considering it. Common concerns cited are pet odors and flying fur, but with just a few basic ground rules, you may find that coexisting with pets in your workplace is lots of fun with minimal hassle.
Benefits of a Pet-Friendly Workplace
Research* overwhelming illustrates the benefits of allowing animals in the office. Having furry friends at work means employees stay longer than if they had to rush home to let the dog out. Employees who bring their animals to work have significantly higher levels of job satisfaction, and lower levels of cortisol (a stress-inducing hormone) and cholesterol, lower blood pressure and significantly reduced stress levels versus those who don’t enjoy this option. Pets increase and improve coworker interaction and collaboration as well as raise creativity levels. Perhaps best of all, clients and vendors respond well to pet-friendly businesses, viewing them as more approachable, humane and progressive. In fact, one company, Ibex Outdoor Clothing, has responded to customer requests and begun using their staff’s dogs in advertising campaigns and even given them their own web page.
Mitigating Pet Odors and Stains
Despite all these benefits, business owners and managers may worry that pet stains and odors will accumulate and be detrimental to the company’s professional image. By taking a few simple preventive steps, however, these worries will disappear. Have carpet and upholstery treated with a stain protection product such as Scotchgard™ to ward off damage. Air fresheners and topical deodorizers will handle any doggy odors, while spot cleaning as necessary will alleviate staining. Remember to use animal-friendly cleaning products too.
Establish Rules for Effective Pet Citizenship
Establish rules with your staff to ensure that everyone keeps the company’s best interest in mind. Pet-proof the office and place each employee in charge of seeing to his or her own pet’s needs and well-being. Adopt formal company policies that clearly lay out the rules. This might include vaccination requirements, hygiene considerations and spaying/neutering guidelines. Consider appointing a pet committee and offering employee perks such a dog-walking service or a monthly mobile groomer visit to your office. Finally, coordinate your new pet policy with your cleaning or janitorial service to incorporate any pet-specific cleaning requirements into your regular services.
Town and Country Office Cleaning provides a full range of commercial cleaning and janitorial services to businesses of all sizes and types. Their experienced staff uses the most effective yet environmentally conscious cleaning products available, so you never have to worry about the safety of your pet-friendly office.