Attention Animal Lovers: Studies have shown that having a pet in the office has several benefits which is why many companies have started introducing Bring Your Pet to Work days.
Attention Animal Lovers: Studies have shown that having a pet in the office has several benefits. And many companies have started introducing Bring Your Pet to Work days because of it!
The idea of approaching your boss about this new idea may sound scary. And at this point you’re 100% certain that no manager in their right mind would ever approve an office full of barking, running dogs chasing shrieking cats. But by following this how-to-ask guide, your boss may surprise you.
After getting few more pet loving co-workers on your side, introduce the idea to your office manager or any other key decision maker at work carefully.
Firstly, explain that it’s not big scary dogs that you want in the office (unless you’re in the security industry, of course) but rather well trained and friendly pets. All kinds of pets: cats, fish, hamsters, rabbits, tarantulas, tortoises, and the like.
Secondly, let your boss know that it’s of absolute importance that a pet policy is written up. Rules and regulations will make her feel more secure and in control. This is your chance to explain and emphasise that you really have all co-workers’ best interests at heart. Their productivity is the reason you'd like pets welcomed in the first place.
Thirdly, list the benefits of having animals - or an animal a day or an animal every other day - at work including:
It’s been proven that pets help lower blood pressure and slow one’s heart rate. The numerous health benefits decrease absenteeism as well as the negative effects of presenteeism.
Taking a break to walk or play with an office pet reduces stress and subsequently contributes to productivity.
Co-workers naturally socialise around pets. These animals bring lots of joy and are great conversation starters. Even visiting clients will be infected with joyfulness of having them around. Think about it, plenty of romantic comedy plots begin with people sharing a connection thanks to dogs. Studies have also shown that pets have the potential to ease tensions upon entering meeting rooms.
Fourthly, go into further details regarding the rules and regulations.
Only pets that are safe around people, aren’t super hyper, and require minimal supervision will make the cut.
A group of employees will ensure that all rules and regulations, grievances, and all types feedback are monitored and evaluated. This group will be the go-to pet police and ensure that all office dwellers are comfortable. They'll meet regularly to decide if new rules need to be added, removed, or if existing ones simply need to be better enforced.
Explain that you could incorporate a dog day, cat day, or rabbit day alternating between species, every once in a while. Or pet owners can alternate who gets to bring their pet for the day. A shared calendar is easy to set up and can dictate which days are pet days.
Or the office can even adopt one pet that volunteers can take home every night.
To avoid paying damages, each pet owner will be responsible for the actions of their own pets. Explain that co-workers who bring their pets need to sign an indemnity form, holding them responsible for any 'pets gone wild' incidents.
Only pets that have received all their shots are worthy of a pet day pass. Any dirty pets and those with ticks or fleas are not allowed by any means. And on the ‘dirty’ note, all pet owners must clean up after their pet.
There will be pet-free zones if necessary. Each owner is to bring their pet’s favourite toys to keep them busy and distracted. Plastic baggies, fur remover brushes, and other pet care apparatus will be supplied by each pet owner.
And finally, agree upon a trial period. If after the first three or so months the entire experience has been an epic fail, or you know, someone has reservations about the new changes in and additions to the environment, you’ll stop bringing pets to the office and let go of the idea altogether. (At least until you secretly figure out something else that’ll work better for everyone.)
Some people have pet allergies and others have real fears of animals, e.g. cynophobia or ailurophobia. All humans aren't animal lovers (the horror!) which means you’ll have to be considerate towards them. So before you approach your boss, find out which employees are opposed to the idea, for which reasons, and allow the pet committee to come up with ways of working around this.
Remember, you have the option of doing a 3 month trial period, where you experiment with different ways of making Pet Days work to iron out all the wrinkles. Or for you to be convinced that your current office simply isn't suitable for all the fun and love - which in that case, you’re better off finding a new job that offers the office culture you’re looking for.
Just tell your boss, if successful companies like Google, Glassdoor, and Purina can make it work, then surely y’all can too!