Allowing pets in the office may seem like a new fad aimed at attracting employees of newer generations, but is in fact a tradition recognized as far back as the 19th century, according to Senate Historian Donald Ritchie, when members of the highest offices on Capitol Hill would bring their hunting dogs to work with them. The practice was popularized in the 1970’s, but has become much more common these days, and can lend a very human side to what can be very serious business. It seems these early congressmen were on to something; according to a 2012 study by the Virginia Commonwealth University, “[pets] do buffer the impact of stress during the workday for their owners and make the job more satisfying for those with whom they come into contact.” How can your company transition to becoming a pet friendly workplace and grow from the benefits?
Make sure your facilities are equipped to take on pets.
The decision to go pet-friendly may require changes to the layout of the office space to ensure that it is safe and functional for the employees as well as their pets. Simple, pet-proofing changes like installing baby gates or crates, moving cables and wires (that look a lot like chew toys!), and even more complex design changes like building an indoor play park can ensure that your employees can focus on being relaxed and productive instead of feeling anxious and distracted by where their pet may be wandering off to or what they’re getting into.
Designate areas for meals and “breaks.”
One of the incredible, unintentional benefits of having pets in the office is that at some point, those furry companions are going to need to be fed and exercised, necessitating that your employees take the refreshing breaks they would regularly work through. Making design choices for surfaces and finishes with durability in mind will keep your office space looking clean and professional, even if spills and “accidents” should occur. Also, creating an inviting outdoor area for walking and play (including tie up and clean up stations) will give your employees a mental break and a creative boost. According to a study from Stanford University, walking can increase creative thinking by as much as 60% when compared with sitting down.
Dog free zones
Consider dog-free zones for sanitary reasons, and for employees who might have pet allergies, are perhaps frightened of dogs, or who instead want to bring a furry feline. Designing a layout considerate of employees that choose not to be in contact with pets and a way to keep the pets and their dander out of specific areas (conference rooms, cafeterias, restrooms, etc.) will make ALL employees feel as if their concerns are being addressed and their expectations met. This will lead to a positive experience and increased morale for everyone.
Freeing Space for Fido?
Considering the shift to becoming a pet friendly workplace? We invite you to contact Beaux-Arts Group to explore our services
. Because we “understand” space, we will incorporate smart design, research, superior durable products and innovative thinking to create a productive, and integrated workplace for you and your pets.