Real Talk: The Risks of a DIY Pet Integration — Pets in a Workplace

Updated: Jul 28



Over the past two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has seen employees transitioning to a comfortable remote working schedule.

Now that a glimmer of normalcy is returning to our routines, employers are eager to get everyone back to what was once considered “the standard” — starting way back in the 18th century and held up until 2019 — working full-time from an office. Employees, however, are not so enthusiastic about this.


HR staff and recruiters currently face a significant and unique challenge: how do you entice employees back to an office, when many would (and have) sought out another permanent remote work opportunity?


Now more than ever, employees value companies that are willing to evolve their working culture to accommodate the new reality and needs of their employees.

When taking a closer look at why employees are so eager to stay remote, you’ll find there isn’t just one explanation; their reasons vary based on the employee’s age, location, and lifestyle.


41% of pet owners would switch jobs if it meant they could bring their pet to work, says Petco survey.


Numerous studies prove that pets in the workplace are not just a unique perk to help employers attract top talent, but they also increase workplace loyalty, productivity, teamwork, and communication, and reduce overall stress levels. As a result, this popular benefit is creating a viral discussion that we can summarize in one sentence:


People are not ready to leave their pets alone for 8 –12 hours, and will take extreme steps to ensure that will not be the case for them.

Companies looking to revamp their benefits and attract talent realize that a pet-friendly office is a high-demand benefit that is becoming more popular than ever.


However, there’s a thin line between a productive pet-friendly office and an office full of distractions.

The risks of a DIY office pet integration


With so many quick “how-to” guides flooding the internet, integrating pets into a workplace can feel like an easy, quick process. Many companies only hire a professional to help after they have finished the integration and have run into too many issues.


When doing your research and learning about the risks involved with pet integration, you will discover that a pet integration consultant can be a valuable resource to reduce those risks and maximize your results -


Here are some of the most common risks of a DIY pet integration.


Liability

Your responsibility as an employer for any potential damage or accident is high. Ensuring you won’t be held liable if something happens can save you a lot of money and trouble in the long run.


Creating a pet policy tailored to your office and building’s needs, while also putting processes in place and providing tools to prevent an accident, are some of the most crucial aspects of a pet integration.

While the internet is full of pet policy samples, none of them are tailored to your space or needs.


Office Dogs offers a tailored pet policy that considers your business and employees’ needs while providing you with the right tools to ensure you never need to use your policy.



Distraction

Charming, furry dogs may be a positive addition to your office, but they can also be a distraction for your employees.


If a dog is barking, running around, or even just being “aggressively friendly” and asking for attention for six out of eight working hours, your employees could become more focused on their dogs and less focused on their work.


Another consideration is that dogs may behave in a more distracting way when they are uncomfortable around lots of people or other dogs. This might cause their owners to be constantly worrying about their dog’s environment and wellbeing, and increase their stress levels as a result.


Working with a professional who can help you assess the dogs’ behaviors and needs, approve pet owners’ applications who are looking to bring their dogs to work, and create a clear policy that covers any potential distracting behavior, will help you maintain a quiet, work-focused environment.



The added workload on your HR/office manager


Congratulations, you created a pet-friendly space! You’re done!

But who is in charge? Who is ordering treats? Who is approving new dogs? Who is solving potential issues that may arise in the future?


While it’s not a full-time job, researching dog products that are suitable for office use while reviewing employee applications and carrying out your other non-dog-related tasks can overwhelm your HR team. This could significantly reduce their productivity and the success of the integration.


Office Dogs is not only here to guide you through a smooth integration, but we can also help you manage your post-integration operations. From providing the services of a certified dog trainer to review employee dog applications to offering monthly discounted pet supplies delivered directly to your office doorstep, we are here to ensure your integration’s long-term success.


Accommodating employees with allergies and employees who are not interested in dogs.


While it’s clear that most people seek out companies that offer pet-friendly spaces, others are simply not interested in being around dogs during their workday.

Adjusting your office environment to fulfill the desires of your employees shows you listen to them. And yet, for liability reasons and to ensure everyone is comfortable coming to work, your policies and office structure must accommodate those who can’t/don’t want to be around pets.


Office Dogs survey your employees, analyze the results, and give you a clear direction for your next integration steps.

Before committing to the process, we believe that you should first understand the level of demand and any potential roadblocks to the integration.


Office Dogs offer a free, no-commitment, comprehensive survey that will help you assess the potential benefits, risks, and the number of adjustments you would need to make for a successful pet integration.


Download your survey today, and get an analysis of your employees’ wishes within a week. No commitment, no risk.


To summarize, leave the DIY method to lower-risk projects.


There are plenty of office projects that you can do alone, where you can relax and enjoy the process! Pet integration, however, should be left to a team that understands dogs, office culture, and business needs.


Just like we puppy-proof our houses before bringing a new puppy home, your office requires the same level of effort and skills. Letting a professional guide you through this process means lower risks and better, quicker results.


Have you got any questions? Unsure if pet integration is suitable for your office? We’re all ears. Contact us at hello@office-dogs.com today.

We’ll be happy to help you figure out what works for your company — no commitment, no strings attached.

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