Pet-Friendly Workplaces Are On The Rise, How Are You Keeping Your Office Clean?
The Covid-19 pandemic changed how the world works on a multitude of levels. Schools went online, hospitals were constantly being filled, and employers had to transition their employees to remote work as governments mandated that non-essential businesses cease physical operations. And as people had fewer interactions with one another, mental and emotional health began rapidly declining. To compensate for the lack of interpersonal interactions, millions of Americans began adopting pets. According to the ASPCA, that number was around 23 million Americans or 1-in-5 households based on the 2019 census.
These pets became integral aspects of their owners’ lives, and, unsurprisingly, many have been reluctant to leave their furry friends alone all day to go back to the office. And as employers continue to try and transition back into the office, many are adopting “pet-friendly” policies that would allow employees to bring their pets into the office—conditional on the good behavior of their pets of course. While this is undoubtedly a good incentive to bring pet-owning employees back to the office, one of the common concerns is the need for office cleaning services.
So if you’re an employer who owns an office space, or a commercial building owner that allows tenants to bring pets on-premise, you need to consider how you’re going to keep your office space clean. Depending on the number of pets you allow in the office at once, commercial office cleaning services might be the best option for you. And if you have employees who aren’t overly excited about the prospect of pets in the office due to health concerns, daily cleaning services might be necessary.
BENEFITS OF ALLOWING PETS IN THE WORKPLACE
There are some clear benefits of allowing employees to bring their pets into the office. Aside from being a good incentive to coax employees away from remote working situations and into more social working environments, pets are known to be good at reducing stress. And considering the increasing levels of stress associated with modern workplaces—especially in extremely competitive industries—it’s little surprise that top employees are looking for simple benefits like this to reduce their stress levels. That’s why top tech companies like Apple, Amazon, and even Google began adopting pet-friendly policies back before the pandemic started.
Studies have shown that pet-friendly workplaces can have a positive impact on employee morale and job satisfaction. According to a study from the Nova School of Business and Economics, employees who bring their pets to work reported lower levels of perceived stress compared to those who did not bring their pets to work. While there were no differences in cortisol levels between those who brought their pets to work and those who didn’t, the placebo effect was enough to curb the effects of burnout and increase job satisfaction.
In addition to the benefits for employees, having pets in the office can also be good for business. A study by Banfield Pet Hospital, the world’s largest general veterinary hospital, found that 82% of employees feel a greater sense of loyalty to their employers when they are pet-friendly. This can translate to improved employee engagement and better company culture.
But having pets in the workplace also calls for good management and cleanliness. Pet dander, hair, and other debris can quickly build up, posing a health risk to both staff members and guests. Regular office cleaning services, including daily cleaning services, are crucial to reducing these risks. To maintain a healthy and productive workplace, business owners and commercial real estate owners should think about hiring a professional cleaning service
DRAWBACKS TO CONSIDER WHEN ADOPTING PET-FRIENDLY POLICIES
While there are clear benefits to allowing pets in the workplace, there are some serious drawbacks that employers need to consider before adopting any policies. While some employees will certainly be excited to bring their pets into the office, businesses need to take the needs of all their employees into account. A large number of people are allergic to pets, and there are varying degrees of severity. Others might have chronic fears of certain pets. There are also sanitation issues and legal liability concerns that must be thoughtfully considered.
THE IMPORTANCE OF CLEANLINESS IN PET-FRIENDLY WORKPLACES
In our opinion, sanitation concerns are the most important drawbacks to consider before allowing pets in the workplace. And while legal liabilities are nothing to scoff at, you can’t predict how multiple animals might interact with one another or other employees. The cleanliness of your workplace, however, is something that is absolutely within your control. And with the right office cleaning services, you can mitigate the issue.
While allergies to foods like peanuts, shellfish, and gluten are thought to be prevalent, none are anywhere near as common as pet allergies. A peer-reviewed study published in the Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Research journal found that between 10%-20% of people around the globe have pet allergies. These allergies can range from rashes and cold-like symptoms to severe asthma attacks.
Understanding your employees’ health concerns is an important part of creating a productive and safe work environment. Plus, if someone is concerned about their health in the office, they’re going to become more stressed at work. This negates one of the main benefits of adopting pet-friendly policies.
Pet dander is probably the number one culprit in causing pet allergies, but that isn’t the only concern that it raises. Pet dander can retain biological particles of saliva, urine, and even feces. When dander builds up, it can not only cause health issues for employees, but it will leave an unpleasant scent in your office. And nobody wants to spend 8+ hours in an office that smells bad… If your office isn’t receiving a proper daily cleaning service, it will become a breeding ground for the bacteria that spread through pet dander.
Having thorough cleaning SOPs is a crucial step to keeping your office space clean and your employees healthy. A weekly once-over with a vacuum isn’t going to cut it if you have dogs, cats, or other pets in the office. You need to have daily cleaning services to ensure that you maintain a sanitary work environment.
BEST PRACTICES FOR CLEANING PET-FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENTS
If your business is leaning towards adopting pet-friendly policies that would allow pets in the office, then having a plan to maintain a clean and productive work environment is going to be crucial. Once you’ve introduced animals into your work environment, then you’re going to need office cleaning services planned to help mitigate any allergens and sanitation issues that may arise. You’ll likely need daily cleaning services and the occasional deep cleaning to keep your office space in good condition. Here are some best practices you should consider when developing your office cleaning standards of practice.
THOROUGH CLEANING & SANITATION
When we’re talking about daily cleaning services, we don’t mean just running the vacuum and wiping down surfaces with bleacher water after every shift. Taking care of the pet dander and other bacteria is going to require a thorough cleaning. Vacuuming is an effective way to keep pet dander from building up—especially when done with industry-leading equipment.
Using air filtrations systems and vacuums with HEPA filters can remove the majority of particles as small as .3 microns. Modern industrial cleaning tools like the Clorox Total 360 sprayer are more effective at neutralizing pathogens than the standard cleaning equipment used throughout the last several decades. When looking for office cleaning services, be sure to look for service providers that are using the best technologies available.
PET-FRIENDLY CLEANING PRODUCTS
Another important consideration is the types of cleaning solutions being used by the individuals providing your daily cleaning services. Many traditional cleaning supplies contain harsh chemicals that can be dangerous to your employees’ four-legged friends. Many companies that offer office cleaning services, like A&A Elevated Facilities Solutions, can create a customized cleaning plan that can meet your company’s unique needs.
PRACTICAL STEPS YOUR BUSINESS CAN TAKE
Just because your business has chosen to adopt pet-friendly policies doesn’t mean you can’t have limits. Since you’re allowing employees to bring their pets to work, there should be a reasonable expectation that their animals are well-groomed before they come in. If dirty pets are being brought in, it’s going to create a less-than-ideal work environment for the rest of your team and will take more work to clean up.
You can also establish clear boundaries for acceptable areas for pets to roam. While some businesses might be alright with free-roaming animals, you might want to consider establishing specific pet-friendly areas of the office. This will help confine any messes and make cleaning and sanitation easier.
BENEFITS OF WORKING WITH A COMMERCIAL CLEANING COMPANY
While you might be tempted to handle your office cleaning in-house, either by doing it yourself periodically or outright hiring a janitor, working with a commercial cleaning company like A&A is often a better option. When working with a company like A&A Elevated Facilities Solutions, you’re not just bringing on a team of janitorial workers. You’re getting an experienced group of specialists that can scale with your business’s needs and deliver the peace of mind that you deserve.
EXPERTISE AND CONSISTENCY
One of the biggest benefits of working with a commercial janitorial company for your office cleaning services is the high level of service they can bring to the table. Not only do they bring an experienced team of specialists who are trained to thoroughly clean your facility, but a commercial janitorial company will have access to the latest innovations the industry has to offer.
At A&A, we work with you to create a daily cleaning services plan that’s customized to meet your business’s needs. Our specialists will ensure that your office remains consistently clean and hygienic. Our thorough cleaning approach will keep pet dander and bacteria from building up and creating health hazards.
Scalability of services is another advantage of hiring a commercial cleaning company for your pet-friendly office. Flexible cleaning services can be offered by commercial cleaning companies to accommodate each business’s particular requirements and schedule. Depending on the particular needs of the business, this may involve daily cleaning services or occasional deep cleaning services. Commercial cleaning companies like A&A can modify their services to meet the business’s changing needs as it expands or undergoes change. This can ensure that the office stays sanitized and hygienic even as the company grows.
PEACE OF MIND
At A&A Elevated Facilities Services, we can deliver the peace of mind you need to be confident in your decision to allow pets in the workplace. Whether you’re a business owner renting an office space or a commercial real estate owner, our services can be customized to meet your business’s needs.
Whether you’re looking for periodic office cleaning services, daily cleaning services, or something in between, we can manage and maintain your facility so you can focus on running your business. No more worrying about pets making a mess. No more long hours making sure your office is clean and sanitary. And your employees can rest assured that their workspace is being properly cleaned and maintained by professionals.
CONTACT US TODAY
If you’re ready to take your periodic office cleaning solutions or daily cleaning services to the next level, schedule a consultation today to learn how A&A Elevated Facilities Solutions can help keep your building in pristine condition.
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