There is a growing trend within the business world – allowing employees to bring their pets with them to work. And there are many reasons this benefit is becoming so popular. Many employers have found that offering a bring your pet to work policy lowers their employees’ stress levels, make their employees more satisfied with their work, improve overall company morale, reduce the number of sick days and personal days taken off, and encourage improved efficiency and productivity. While incorporating a bring your pet to work policy into your company’s benefits may be the right move, there are still things to consider in order to protect your company from the added risk that pets in the workplace can create. Here are a few things you should consider before deciding to implement a pet policy in the workplace:
Research Before You Decide
You may be all on board with implementing a bring your pet to work policy within your company, but your company’s landlord may not be. You may also be limited in business liability and insurance coverage if a pet injures someone at the workplace or if a pet damages company property. Before you decide to implement a bring your pet to work policy, make sure you do all the research you need to ensure you are allowed to have pets on the property and your company is covered for liability if any pets cause damage or injury. You should speak with your landlord, insurance agent, industry licensing requirements, risk management specialist, and your business lawyer before deciding whether you will offer such a benefit. You also need to discuss the possibility of implementing such a policy with your current employees to address any concerns such as allergies and to be able to plan how to accommodate such concerns.
Create A Comprehensive Policy
While implementing a bring your pet to work benefit may be great for employee morale, you also need to ensure there will still be order and professionalism within your workplace. You should think carefully about what types of restrictions and guidelines you want to include in your pet policy before you begin allowing employees to bring their pets to work with them. You will likely want to require that they prove their pets are up-to-date on their vaccinations and that the pets are not aggressive. But there may be other rules you want to include as well such as a limit to the number of pets that will be allowed in the office at one time, a sign-up sheet to use in advance, and requiring the pet respond to basic commands and remain in specific allowed spaces.
Implement The Policy Slowly
It probably isn’t a good idea to go from not allowing pets in the workplace at all to allowing any pets to be brought to the workplace at any time. You should start implementing a new pet policy slowly – perhaps start by allowing employees to have smaller pets that remain in a confined space such as fish or hamsters and work your way up to larger pets such as cats and dogs. Or maybe you want to start allowing people to bring their larger pets right away, but not every day – offer specific days of the week or month which employees can bring their furry friends to work with them and see how it goes before implementing the policy full-time.
Make Sure Your Business Is Covered
You never want to implement a new policy that will expose your business to an additional liability risk that you don’t have insurance coverage to protect your business from. Contact the licensed insurance agents of Magruder Insurance to have a comprehensive review of your current business insurance coverage and ensure your coverage includes coverage for injuries or property damage caused by pets in the workplace.