Interestingly prior to the Covid-19-pandemic, 1 in 5 individuals could bring dogs and other animals into the workplace.
Apparently, over 3 million individuals are now pet owners post lockdown and many owners have been at home with their animals during the lockdown, are or should you allow pets into your workplace and just what could the implications be in the workplace, and should you implement a workplace policy.
It is reported that Employees rate this as a perk and more so than free memberships etc, having your dog at work can improve your wellbeing, getting outdoors with time for exercise and social support too, this can reduce stress and enhance performance.
Dogs especially can keep Employees happy and bring a feeling of security, it may have a calming influence on your Employees too, many will have new pets, they may have only just returned to the workplace and will be feeling just as anxious as their animals.
Employers will be seen as attractive to candidates when recruiting in the future as this sends out a positive message to candidates.
How do you implement a pet-friendly workplace?
The first place to start is a workplace Pet/Animal Policy, as an Employer, you need to consider what this covers, how effective it is within your workplace.
- A Pet/Animal Policy
- As an Employer, you must manage and mitigate risks and you should do this by conducting a risk assessment
- The Health of others is a key area of consideration – it can in most instances be managed though
- As an Employer, you need to consider your space, environment and consider the needs of others, not forgetting cultural differences.
There is a lot to consider but you may want to discuss areas of this with your team not forgetting everyone, not just pet owners themselves, you may establish some areas are workable and others are not; the final result will become your workable Pet/Animal Policy.
Are there any special considerations during Covid?
It is advisable to add extra precautions during Covid-19, these would be to manage the risks:
- Keep pets on short leads whilst in the workplace;
- Advise that your Employees take pet bowls home at the end of the day; and
- Employees should take pets out for regular breaks individually to manage social distancing.
How can we help you?
We already provide Employers and clients Pet/Animal policies, and we add these to HR Handbooks on a regular basis, we can create and draft one specific to your needs today.
Why not get in touch to find out more.
You can also find our editable Template Animal workplace Policy which is available to purchase and is sent straight to your inbox, this can be found here https://hrandyou.co.uk/product/3829/ in our HR Online Toolkit.