The list is growing of companies that now have bring your dog to work “paw-licies.” Is yours next?
Google, Zappos and Amazon are some big companies that are pet-friendly, but smaller businesses are going to the dogs too, adding to the now 7% of employers that permit pets.
‘Ruff’ day? Take your dog to work
For example, electronics maker Crutchfield Corp. has a dog-friendly office, which the company says reduces stress.
Walking a dog helps to keep its owner fit, says Adrienne Webster, HR VP, Carfax, another pet-friendly company. But she adds that her employees are responsible for making sure their pets are well behaved.
Many companies implement policies that stipulate dogs need to be healthy, clean and up-to-date on vaccinations.
Dog-friendly office? ‘Paws’ for a foolproof pet policy
If you’re not quite ready to let the dogs in on a full-time basis, you might “paws” to allow your folks’ four-legged friends to sit, stay and play for a day, and see how it works out.
“Policies around bringing pets to work should be clear,” says employment attorney Karen Michael. “To be successful, careful attention and respect for all employees must be considered.”
Since allowing pets into the workplace creates a whole list of concerns – “from unruly, jumpy, biting, irritating dogs, to those that relieve themselves inside to those that bark and disrupt the workplace,” she urges employers to put certain rules in place:
- Written pet policy that dictates pet owner’s responsibilities, who’s responsible for animal bites, etc.
- Sign-up calendar (to prevent too many pets at the same time)
- Zero-tolerance policy for bad-behaving pets (barking, biting, etc.)
- Pet-free zone (for those with allergies or a fear of animals)
- Liability insurance (employers might ask workers to get as well)
- Employee discipline (for those who fail to clean up after their pets)