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Pets in the Workplace

As a small business owner, you may find it beneficial to have a pet-friendly work environment. Having pets around can help boost morale and relieve stress in the workplace environment. Studies show that the presence of pets lowers stress, depression, and can even help prevent heart disease. However, there are a few things to consider when transitioning your workplace to a pet-friendly environment.
1. Training. There's a fine line between a relaxed work environment and a chaotic one. Be sure that the pets in your workplace are properly trained and can handle your office environment. Some pets might find it hard to focus when exposed to new people and a new environment, so it is important that the pets in your workplace have some basic training in place.
2. Pets Personality. Make sure your pet is people-friendly. If it is anxious or uncomfortable in new environments, do a test run for a few hours to see how the pet reacts. Some pets might not be suited for office life, and that's okay! The most important thing is that both the people and the pet in the workplace are happy and can coexist in harmony.
3. Pet Safety & Comfort. Make sure the pet is clear from hazards such as cleaners or plants that could be poisonous. Take note of areas that may be dangerous to the pet, such as areas with equipment or open doors, and be sure to have the areas blocked off with a baby gate or keep the pet on a leash while traveling through these areas. Make sure that pets have access to food and water throughout your place of business, and keep toys and bedding around for their comfort.
4. Protection. In some cases, having a pet around makes for a great defense system. Dogs, in particular, are very protective of their humans and their area, and they can be a good judge of character. Having a dog around can help alert you of suspicious behaviors that might endanger the happiness or well-being of your employees and customers.
5. Appearance. Your employees have a dress code, so it's only fair that the pets in the workplace have one, too. Make sure that pets are well-groomed, including their nails so that no one gets accidentally scratched while visiting. In addition to the exterior, be sure that pets are up to date on all vaccines and medications to ensure the health of all pets and humans in the workplace.
Pets remind employees to pause and take a mental break from their work. Allowing for a few minutes of playtime can increase productivity and lower stress-related illnesses and increase the morale and harmony of your entire place of business.