Do You Have A Pets At Work Policy?

We all know that Britain is known for its love of pets but what are the practicalities of having a Pets at Work Policy in your workplace? You might have seen a few pictures of my cat (and IT Manager), Jess helping me out. Days like National Dog/Cat Day or Bring Your Pet To Work Day sometimes open a can of worms for employers. Should they allow pets come into the workplace?

If you are an employer, you might want to consider a few things before you let employees bring their beloved pets into your workplace. Starting as you mean to go on with a set of ground rules is practical. Having a pets at work policy is a cost-effective employee benefit which small businesses could utilise.

Things to consider when deciding whether to have a policy for bringing pets to work:

Research A Pets At Work Policy

It is usually the animal lovers at work who first bring up the subject of bringing their pets to work. But not all employees like pets and this could be for various reasons from allergies or a phobia. As part of a wider benefits survey surrounding a pets at work policy, make sure that all your employees would be happy to have pets at work.

Allocate Pet-Friendly Days

Although studies have shown that having pets in the workplace has reduced stress and increased morale, they can also be a distraction. In order to strike a balance, make certain days of the week or month days in which pets are welcome in the workplace.

Allo-cat-e Pet-Free Zones

Ensure that you have thought about where pets should be allowed – although at home the kitchen is allowed maybe this should be something to consider in the workplace. Think about where should pets be allowed to wander on their own and where must they not be left attended. Making the decisions before allowing pets in the workplace makes things a lot easier going forward.

Communication Is Key

No, I don’t mean barking or miaowing but instead ensuring there is a channel for employees to raise any concerns about the pets in the workplace. Maybe make it part of the employee forum or health and safety committee and include as a static part of the minutes. We all know not all pets get on so that could be something that is discussed. Maybe limit the number of pets in during one day.

Pets Must Be Pet-Friendly

Before considering bringing your pet to work, think about how they are around other people. Most importantly how are they around other animals. At the end of the day, you are at work to work and not to look after your pet. If your pet is quite happy curled at your feet fast asleep whilst you work – great! If your kitten is prone to having a “funny five minutes” haring up and down curtains, or your dog attacks postmen, or always needs attention – maybe they might not be suitable in the workplace.

Keeping It Clean

Make sure any pets at work policy there includes a section about cleaning. It is not fair for your employer to have to clean up fur (or worse) in your office. Make sure you are prepared in case your pet has an accident and take responsibility for ensuring all carpets and furniture are clean.

Pets At Work Policy Summary:

  • Make sure you get the support of all employees to even think about pets in the workplace.
  • Ensure you have rules and guidelines for things such as sickness, antisocial behaviour, and damage in a robust Pets At Work Policy.
  • Limit the number of pets in on each day or allocate days in which pets can come in.
  • Don’t bring your pet to work if you have lots of meetings, asking someone else to watch your pet is not very productive for them.

Please feel free to get in touch to talk about how a pets at work policy could benefit your workplace.


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