Should Businesses Allow Pets at Work?

Dog lying in home office with man in background

Various workplace traditions have shown to be beneficial to employer and employees alike– casual Fridays, bring your kid to work day and so on. But what about bringing your pet to work? As a small business owner, this kind of decision depends on your particular ambient and workplace policy. Welcoming pets into the workplace has proven in many cases to lower the stress of employees, and encourage a healthier, more active lifestyle.

This is obviously not something to jump straight into– give it a trial run. Establish a day on which employees are welcome to bring pets. Prior to this day host an open dialogue to address any health or safety concerns: allergies, guidelines, training requirements, and spaces open to pets. Are you a relaxed, easy-going office with clients who will appreciate a greeting from furry friends? Or is the office more of a suit and tie professional place? The image you wish to be projected by your company, and your company’s brand, is a determining factor in this decision. Determine pet-free zones (namely the kitchen, lounge, and the spaces of any coworkers who don’t wish to partake). Install a zero-tolerance policy for aggressive pets– they should leave immediately to prevent risk.

On the insurance side of things, make sure to talk to your business insurance agent about risk-management and insurance policy in case of injury in the workplace related to visiting pets. Have all employees sign liability waivers prior to introducing pets into the office. If leasing a workspace, talk to your landlord about pet allowance policies. Be especially careful if your business handles any food or drink licensed operations.

A perk of a pet-friendly office includes incorporating pet-exercise into office life. Take the meeting outside for fresh air and fresh ideas, and exchange a sedentary office lifestyle for one of daily exercise and movement.

What has your experience been with pets in the workplace? Tell us about it in the comments below! Questions about small business insurance or liability and risk assessment? Call BMR Insurance today at 714-838-1911 for a free quote.

 

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