Lives enriched by companion animals at work

The case for pets in the workplace

An increase in pet ownership during COVID-19 has demonstrated a greater need for businesses to become pet friendly.

Many companies continue to have people working both from home and in the office. We want to help employers and employees adapt to the new situation.

Research shows that having pets in the workplace improves productivity and collaboration, and alleviates stress. Employee satisfaction and morale are top-of-mind for most HR leaders, and pet-inclusive policies can help.

Australia CAN works directly with companies and employees to develop policies for an integrated workplace that meets the needs of the company, non-pet owners and pet-owning staff.

Pets in the workplace reduce stress, promote happiness & increase collaboration.

What are the benefits of a dog-friendly office?

Work is a leading source of stress worldwide. A generation ago, it was largely restricted to CEOs and bankers but now most Australian workplaces are hugely demanding, with notifications and slack culture preventing us from leaving work at work. With one in five Aussies taking time off the job because of work-related stress, and anxiety,

It’s clear the Australian workforce could benefit from some creature comforts.

If COVID wasn't enough, we're dealing with a new beast: logging onto Zoom, dusting off the non-elastic section of the wardrobe and returning to the workplace. For those of us who've shared a co-working space with our pets over the last months, waving goodbye at the door feels like canine sacrilege.

The benefits of a pet-friendly office?

40% of people believe pets in the workplace enhance work-life balance.
40
%
24% of people believe pets in the workplace enhance relationships
24
%
45% of people believe pets in the workplace create a more relaxed atmosphere.
45
%
50% of employees see pets in the workplace as a benefit
50
%
* Research sourced by Purina

How to make your office pet-friendly

Education, clear guidelines and fair ground rules will be your best friend here.
Making pets a valued and beneficial part of your workplace centres around 3 key
themes:
1. Everyone feeling safe (pets included)
2. Avoiding chaos (smart rules are a must)
3. A little supervision
To make pets in the office work for you, you first need to understand that dogs (in particular) are brilliantly, magically, fantastically unique.breed personality, preferences, moods and more. Some love pats, others are wary of strangers Some have stomachs of steel and will sneak any dog food (and non dog food!) they can, others need something to fix their guts.

Making your office pet friendly has been proven to:

  • Reduce stress levels, enhance coping skills and lower blood pressure.
  • Squash pet-owner guilt about leaving a pet to their lonesome for the day.
  • Wipe-out brain fog with lunchtime walks, toilet breaks and forced time in the sun.
  • Jack up office morale and communication..."Have you seen Story's bandana today?"
  • Spread the benefits of chilling with a pet to the less fortunate (i.e. non-pet owners)
  • Build an environment of camaraderie between the manager and their employees.

Preparing your office for furry colleagues

It’s important to consider your infrastructure. The more people or the smaller the space, the more to consider. Try to:

  • Provide some gated or inaccessible areas to control movement and give dogs a safe and secure place to roam. Focus your dog-friendly zones on places with easy to clean floors, or nearby cleaning products. Hopefully it's only fur that you have to worry about, but accidents do happen.
  • Provide a grassy patch outside for toilet breaks. Providing eco-friendly poo bags here would be a big bonus, for your employees and the enuironment. In the early days, employees could consider buddying up: watching each other's dog when somebody needs to use the bathroom, attend a meeting, and so on.

Pets in Business Resources

Resource downloads to support your workplace: [[ COMING SOON ]]

  • Pet Resume
  • Pet Roster
  • Pet's in Business Policy
  • Rules for Pets at Work
  • Workplace Posters
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