Offices have evolved from being mere places to work to be second homes for employees. Employers are consciously facilitating opportunities that help employees establish a personal connection with their place of work. From networking to recreation and events, there’s a lot that can happen besides work. Making offices is a pet-friendly zone is a step in this direction. Pets are a big part of human life, and welcoming them into an office gives employees a deeper sense of belonging. Bringing a pet to work and allowing pet bonding sessions is one of the biggest unconventional ways of increasing productivity. If you are wondering how you can make pets a bigger part of your workspace, we have you covered! Read on to discover some fun and simple ways you can make an office a pet-friendly zone. PS: prepare to be amazed by the plethora of positive responses from your employees!
Pet Play Zone
Who can say no to a fun play zone? Set up a nook that’s earmarked for pet toys and activities. You don’t need to go overboard and set up a complete crèche. Even some small balls, a sensory pillow, stuffed animals and chewies can go a long way in getting pets playful and happy! While you do your best to make the pets get comfortable at the office, acknowledge that some employees on the floor may have pet allergies or may generally be averse to pets. Ensure you identify a pet-free zone that is free of pet visitors. This pet-free zone is a safe spot for pet-averse employees to tuck themselves in while the rest of the office enjoys interacting with their new furry friends!
Dogs are the most common pets that employees may bring to work. Dogs tend to sleep for over 12 hours a day. Hence, they aren’t going to be hyperactive all day in an office environment. They will soon need a corner they can call their own and snuggle up for some shut-eye time. While cats can curl up on a soft cushion, larger dogs are best tucked away in a kennel. Set up a good-quality dog kennel in any outdoor space in the office such as a terrace balcony, garden or backyard. While it is true that different dog breeds require different kennels, invest in a large dog kennel that suits most breeds. Ensure that this dog kennel has a removable roof that ensures easy cleaning. Choose a kennel that offers plenty of ventilation and natural light so the dog is happy and healthy inside.
Pet Treat Station
Set up a pet treat station in the cafeteria that houses pet food for every animal. From dog pedigree to cat feed, fish feed and bird feed, stock on reputable brands of pet food. This gives pets a head start on acclimatizing to an office environment because let’s face it – food is a great bonding factor! While there is plenty of food available, cleanliness must also be facilitated. Ensure that every pet station also has lint rollers and clean up bags to clear out pet droppings. Even the most well-trained pet can make a mistake in a new environment. Save your employees the embarrassment by stocking up in advance for such contingencies.
‘Bring Your Pet To Work’ Day
Fix a designated day of the month for your employees to bring pets to work. While there may not be a lot of work that gets done on this given day, it is sure to be a great bonding exercise for employees. Come up with fun games and events involving pets and their parents. Set up an outdoor lunching area where the second half of the day can be spent as a team-building evening with pets in tow. These events not only give employees a chance to get to know each other better, but it is also a great stressbuster for everyone in the room to bond with animals and enjoy some outdoor time.
Open Work Spaces
Open workspace allow employees visibility across the floor space, giving them access to their coworkers in the room. This is a great way to facilitate interaction between workers and the pet of another employee. It also allows free movement and enables pets to get comfortable with the office sooner. Cubicles and dividers can make a pet anxious due to a lack of visibility and free movement. Open workspaces do not have cubicles and stiff office chairs. Instead, opt for bean bags, couches and benches that double up as ideal lounging spots for pets too.
Pets are a unified bonding factor among colleagues. Work this to your advantage by bringing in pets to the workplace often. The next time you’re wondering what you can do to boost employee morale, just have some furry friends over for a tete-a-tete! We hope the above ideas give you plenty of inspiration!