Today and tomorrow there are guest posts for you. I must say that I really appreciate these guest articles. So without any more delay, here is today’s post.
A guest post by Indiana Lee.
How To Effectively Discuss Your ESA With Your Employer
If you have — or want to obtain — an emotional support animal (ESA), it’s natural that you may want to bring it to work. If this is the case, you need to discuss your ESA with your employer. Yet, doing so is often easier said than done.
For some people, bringing an ESA to work may seem problematic. Your ESA helps you feel and perform your best. However, you may be concerned that your emotional support animal will be a distraction. Even worse, you may be worried that your ESA may disrupt your relationship with your employer.
When it comes to ESAs at work, it is important to keep in mind that you and your employer share a common goal: to achieve the best-possible results at work. If you know how to discuss your needs with your employer, you can highlight the benefits for all parties involved.
Now, let’s look at five tips to help you effectively bring up an ESA with your employer.
1. Have a Face-to-face Conversation With Your Employer
Schedule a date and time to meet with your employer to discuss your ESA. Once you set up the meeting, plan accordingly.
Consider how you will deliver your message to your employer. It can be beneficial to illustrate the health benefits of having a pet for emotional support. You can also provide details about how you’ll manage the animal while you work and ensure it does not hamper your and your colleagues’ productivity.
2. Respond to Your Employer’s Concerns and Questions About Your ESA
Give your employer plenty of time to share their concerns and questions about your emotional support animal. If your employer has concerns or questions about why you need an animal at work, you should be ready to address them.
The most common emotional support animals are dogs. Complete any paperwork required by your employer so you can take a dog or other type of emotional support animal to work. They will perhaps already have a policy on bringing dogs to work, but if it is a cat or other type of pet, you should make this clear in the meeting.
Employers are also allowed to request medical documentation if you want to bring an ESA to work due to a disability. You can meet with a medical professional to get this documentation.
3. Let Your Employer Share Your ESA’s Story
Encourage your employer to use your ESA to promote its workplace culture. This can help your employer attract top talent and keep its staff happy.
For instance, your employer can share the story of your ESA with job candidates and employees. This can show job candidates that your employer is committed to do what it can to accommodate its workers. Giving the background of the pet and how it has helped you be a productive, happy employee can be heartwarming and aid in their search for top performers.
Meanwhile, your coworkers can see that your employer wants them to feel comfortable. This can lead to a positive work culture in which all employees are treated with the respect and dignity they deserve. After all, workplace efficiency is improved when employees feel valued and comfortable in the work environment.
4. Keep Your Employer Up to Date About Your ESA
Communicate with your employer about your ESA. If any problems arise that involve the animal, you can share them with your employer immediately. That way, you and your employer can address any issues before they escalate. For example, if your emotional support dog contracts an infectious disease, let your employer know. You can make accommodations to work from home or not bring the animal during that period to keep others safe.
5. Explore Alternatives to Bringing Your ESA to Work
If your employer will not allow you to bring your ESA to work, try not to stress about it. Rather, continue to work with your employer to explore alternatives. For example, your employer may let you work remotely so you can have your ESA by your side while you work. Or, your employer may allow you to work a flexible schedule. If this isn’t possible, it’s entirely okay to look for a job that accommodates your needs.
Don’t Wait To Discuss Your ESA With Your Employer
An emotional support animal can provide a great source of comfort and companionship. If you feel having an ESA at work would be beneficial, you should discuss this topic with your employer right away.
Many employers are more willing than ever before to let their employees have an ESA at work. By discussing the topic with your employer, you can find out what it can offer. From here, you and your employer can work together to ensure you receive the support you need to thrive at work.
That is very good advice and I am grateful to Indiana for writing it and then offering it to Learning from Dogs. Thank you, Indiana.