Happy New Year, (furry) friends! May 2016 bring two-legged and four-legged even more closely together!
Did you know? Facts!
- A study in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management found that people who bring their dogs into the workplace are less stressed, and that sense of job satisfaction extends to people who come into contact with the pet.
- According to a survey by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, companies that allow pets in the workplace not only have employees who are more willing to work longer hours, but also a lower rate of employee absenteeism.
- Research indicates that people who interact with pets have lower depression rates and elevated levels of serotonin.
- Pets at work increase and stimulate: camaraderie, cordiality, bonding, employee satisfaction, morale, creativity, active short breaks, environment friendliness and more.
- A 2015 Society for Human Resource Management survey found 8 percent of American workplaces allow employees to bring their furry loved ones to work, and up from 5 percent in 2013. The same survey found 9 percent of companies offered pet health insurance to employees, which also marks an increase in recent years.
- Some companies implement pet-friendly work policies to help attract and retain talent.
“We allow you do to do what you need to do to thrive. If that involved bringing your dog to work, bring your dog to work!” CEO G5, Dan Hobin
Top Pet-Friendly Companies
In fact, the company makes it clear in its code of conduct that it’s a company that prefers dogs to cats and suggests employees leave feline friends at home.
“Google’s affection for our canine friends is an integral facet of our corporate culture. We like cats, but we’re a dog company, so as a general rule we feel cats visiting our offices would be fairly stressed out.”
There are rules, though. Employees have to get approval from their managers and work neighbors to make sure everyone’s OK with it. Dogs aren’t allowed in meetings, break areas or on the sand volleyball court. And there’s a one-strike policy for messes or aggressive behavior.
Since 2005, Etsy has had a dog-friendly office policy, even going so far as to create a “canine operations team.”
Amazon kept dogs in mind when designing its Seattle campus, cordoning off space for a dog park, where pets that came to the office could stretch and answer the call of nature. Reception desks are stocked with dog biscuits, and there are dog-friendly drinking fountains scattered around the current campus as well.
On any given day there can be anywhere from 40-50 dogs in the offices of the Virginia-based candy and pet food maker. Pets are a big part of Mars’s company culture. At annual Halloween parties there are costumes contests for dogs and some offices offer a pet feeding and dog boarding program for employees traveling for work. Mars also covers the entry fee for any employee who wants to join a dog-friendly 5k, while 80% of its volunteering projects are pet related ranging from pet food donation drives to beautifying dog parks.
Procter & Gamble
Although they sold their pet holdings, P&G has a history of welcoming pets into the workplace.
The company’s IAMS and Eukanuba pet-food divisions did not only allow employees to bring their pets to work, but also provided free pet food to employees. There are even animals that held management positions, specifically a vice president of canine communications.
Tito’s Handmade Vodka
While most companies limit employees to bringing in dogs, Tito’s has no such restrictions. Employees are encouraged to bring in any animal – even rabbits. Dogs do get most-favored status, though, with their own play area next to the distillery, and they’re allowed to roam free around the office. The company is also committed to animal rescue, with employees serving as fosters and donating goods for fundraising efforts for rescue and shelter organizations.
Clif Bar & Company
Clif Bar operates its business based on five aspirations: sustaining the planet, sustaining the community, sustaining its people, sustaining its business and sustaining its brands. Part of the sustaining its people aspiration is allowing employees to bring their dogs to work.
There are also companies that cannot accommodate pets at work; however they still provide alternative support for their pet-owning employees. E.g. Genentech:
Instead of bringing their pets to work, employees get doggie daycare discounts, as well as reduced pet insurance rates for not only cats and dogs, but birds and other exotic pets. Furthermore, Genentech has a dog lovers club, dubbed gDogs, for dog fans to meet up, share tips and resources and organize doggie “romps.”
More and more companies include pet benefits in their flexible compensation & benefits plans for employees: pet insurance, coverage of pet care costs or pet care discounts, payment of pet resorts for employees who need to travel overnight for work purposes, coverage of daycare costs, etc.
Even if it cannot become a day-to-day company policy, pet-owners may be allowed to internationally celebrate the Take Your Dog to Work Day.
In 2016 the Take Your Dog to Work Day will be held on Friday, the 24th of June.
Who will join?
Disclaimer: The short article above is intentionally not touching upon the cons of going pet-friendly at work. Several issues should definitely be considered (building and landlord codes, liability issues, allergies and phobias, pet wellbeing, etc.)
Featured photography & copyright: Flavia Dobraca
Bibliography & thanks to:
11 Pet-Friendly Workplaces