If you’re an animal lover, you may be considering letting your employees bring pets to work. Well, while you may love pets, not everyone else does. There are many potential challenges that must be addressed before allowing pets to come to work. Here’s an overview of what they are and how potential issues can be avoided.
It is very important for you to obtain the consent of all your employees to ensure that they are comfortable with allowing pets in the workplace. It’s important to listen to your employees’ feedback and to be respectful of it. For example, some of your employees may have allergies to animals, and allowing pets in the office may give them health issues that make it hard for them to work. Others may be afraid of certain dogs or may simply not want the distraction. If you have a business that constantly has customers coming and going, obtaining this consent may be a problem—particularly if you run a retail establishment.
Space for “Business”
If you are going to allow a pet in your workplace, this means that you must ensure that they have access to a place where they can use the bathroom. This isn’t an option unless you want a pet using your office as its own personal toilet. Failure to address this can result in potentially dangerous situations. More than an annoyance, dog urine or poop can make people slip, which is incredibly dangerous. As such, you have to create a space for animals to use the bathroom or allow employees to make time and space to take their pets for walks. Of course, depending on your office and pay structure, this may create its own problems.
Potential Legal Issues
Keep in mind that in today’s litigious society, there are always legal issues for everything, and bringing pets to work is no exception. For example, what happens if the pet attacks a customer, employee or another animal? What happens if they damage some piece of office equipment? What happens if there is just a slip and fall involving the animal, hurting either another human or the animal itself? It’s important to keep these kinds of things in mind if you’re going to allow pets in your workplace.
Being Prepared For Liability
Before creating a policy that allows for pets to be brought to the workplace, you should check with your attorney or insurance broker in order to ensure that you will be adequately covered in the event that something goes wrong. Some insurance policies do have such coverage, but you may have to pay more for them. Some policies don’t cover certain dogs—usually those that are known for violent breed tendencies. Either way, make the phone call before allowing pets into your office. If there are potential challenges, you want to find out before you have an issue—not after.
Allowing employees to bring their pets to work can be incredibly fun, but it is an idea that is not without potential challenges. Make sure to do the research before you allow for this to happen so that you can avoid any major pitfalls.
Here’s another article you might like: How to Design an Office Space That Your Employees Will Actually Love