To be frank: The idea of a pet-friendly work environment is not for everyone.
But, if your small business is forward-thinking across a wide range of possibilities, chances are that allowing and welcoming pets into the workplace – for employees and even for customers – is something to consider.
Here are some reasons why pets can be a positive influence for your small business:
- Smiles all around. Employees are more relaxed when they know their pet isn’t home alone all day. Same for your customers. Studies have shown pets relieve stress, so a high-pressure environment can be tempered by a dog at your feet or a cat in your lap. And your customers may linger longer if their favorite furry friend is welcome as well.
- A common thread. In any work environment, there’s a mix of personalities; and not everyone always gets along. Pet owners, no matter what their job or level within the organization, have a common bond – and plenty to come together over – when their pets are welcome.
- Start slow. Considering pets in the establishment, but not sure this is for you? Have a “bring your dog to work day.” Let employees know – in writing – your expectations such as friendly, non-hyper pets that are “house” trained. And be sure to check with all your employees first to make sure there are no allergies among the team.
- You look like a hero. Employees will appreciate the gesture, and customers will see you as an employee-friendly operation. If you allow pets into your establishment, go all the way: Bring treats and set up a water station, either in your business or right outside.
- Lasting impression. We always talk about first impressions, but here’s one that will surely last: A friendly send off by a friendly dog. Who could forget that?
Again, this might not be for everyone. Check to see who might have allergies to animals and if employees might have a fear of animals. (The latter could make the idea backfire.) But if you’re one of the growing businesses where pets are considered part of the business, welcome to a growing trend.
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