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Office dogs and well-being

Office dogs and well-being

The well-being of your employees at work is a real challenge for companies. Companies need to be innovative and creative to retain and meet the expectations of the new generation of talent, but not only that.

With the new work, new trends are developing to make work a place where it is good to be and to come from time to time when you are not working 100% at home. The workplace is now a place where employees can consume services as part of their well-being: home office, an app dedicated to reserving workspace, canteen, concierge service, parking, meeting room, holy work, company nursery, welcoming dogs or cats into the company, etc..

Let's take a look at this last rather unusual point:

Indeed, the initiative of welcoming animals and more particularly dogs could be considered by the company as an innovative way to improve the well-being of its employees.

 

Open door initiative for dogs in companies

A European "Pets at Work" alliance founded by the Purina Nestlé entity brings together a community of companies that open their doors to dogs. Its members recognise the positive effect of dogs on the well-being and health of their employees, but also for the company.

 

The first small finding in favour of our dog friends in the office

On the employee side, we note how "animal-friendly" offices can transform the state of mind of your employees with:

  • a reduction in stress at work,

  • improved mental health,

  • a better balance between work and private life,

  • a more relaxed working atmosphere and better team harmony. 

  • and more interaction between employees.

On the company side, we note :

  • greater employee motivation

  • a reduction in the rate of absenteeism and the associated costs

  • more creativity among employees

  • an employer brand that is highly valued by employees and potential candidates

  • Attractiveness and retention of employees and the new generation of talent

  • improved employee performance and productivity

On the dog side: 

  • development of the dogs' social skills 

  • Dogs' well-being

Despite the many benefits of having dogs in the workplace, very few companies are pet-friendly, even though one out of every two employees who own a dog would bring it to the office if they could.

 

Why are animals not more widely accepted in companies? 

There are often several reasons for this. Here are some answers:

  • it is not a practice that has become part of the general social mores. 

  • There is a lack of awareness of the many benefits of having dogs in the company.

  • The company does not communicate on the subject.

  • the legal aspects that the company must take into consideration in order to implement this welcome.

Indeed, if the company rents its premises, it must request the agreement of the lessor or owner. In addition, a liability waiver must also be drawn up by the company's legal department. This is a nice little cocktail of obstacles on the subject! Apart from certain obstacles, the company must be convinced that life in the company is better when pets are present. Welcoming dogs into the company cannot be improvised and must be governed by a number of rules.

 

If you would like to take the plunge, we advise you to follow a few steps that are essential to the success of the pet-friendly business project:

  1. decide to take the plunge and communicate on the subject within the company.

  1. Obtain the support of your employees. It is essential to ensure the enthusiasm of all employees. Indeed, the presence of animals must not affect the life of the company, nor create tensions that are contrary to the good atmosphere expected.

 

Once the authorisations have been obtained, the legal aspects resolved and the employees' support acquired, a period of reflection is required on how to welcome dogs in the offices and on the establishment of a certain number of rules.

  • Animals should be clean and tidy. 

  • Allow a period of time to adapt to the new environment. The dog can come to the office for a few hours at first to observe its behaviour. 

  • The access areas authorised for our four-legged friends must be clearly identified, in particular with appropriate signage (e.g. dogs are not allowed in the canteen, in the meeting room, in the toilets and in the lifts). 

  • How many animals are allowed in the company each week? How to manage their presence? The presence of dogs in the company can be managed via a work management application in hybrid mode. The employee reserves a workstation for himself and a place for his pet. The application shows whether the daily quota for pets has been reached.

  •  Avoid leaving a dog alone in an office for its comfort and safety.

  •  Prevention and advice on how to approach and behave with a dog.

  • Ensure the well-being of employees who are uncomfortable with the presence of dogs in order to help these people to become familiar with them.

 

Making offices accessible to all : Hygiene, health and safety

  • Pet owners are responsible in every situation to other employees and other dogs in the home. 

  • Employees must ensure the well-being of their dogs (food, fresh water and regular walks). 

  • The animals must be up to date with their vaccinations and free of parasites. 

  • Visitors must be informed of the presence of dogs in the offices, especially if the visitor is allergic. 

  • In the event of an allergy of employees or visitors, it is recommended that a minimum distance of 5 metres be maintained between dogs and allergic persons. In addition, keeping dogs tied up near the office should be considered for the comfort of the people concerned.  

  • Offices should be cleaned at least once a week.

It should be noted, however, that what may be easily implemented in an SME may be more difficult for a larger company where the rules will be more numerous and sometimes more restrictive. In the end, the process is relatively simple. Get started! Our dog and cat friends can transform the state of mind of your employees and contribute to enhancing your employer brand.