Friday is “Bring Your Dog to Work Day.” And you thought Christmas was exciting.
For some businesses and companies, though, “Bring Your Dog to Work Day” is just another day that ends in ‘y.’ They let you bring your dog with you every day. Apple, Google, Ben & Jerry’s, and many other high-profile companies have made their headquarters pet-friendly and encourage furry-friends to tag along.
A woman named Beverly asked me a very valid question on Facebook. With all of the adorable distractions running around the office, does any work actually get accomplished in these places?
I spent the morning at a company right here in our area to find out. PetFirst is a pet insurance company based in Jeffersonville, Indiana, and they’ve been welcoming pets for 15 years. Now, granted, they’re a pet insurance company, so a “pro-pet” bias may be safe to assume. Still, all of the employees I chatted with were 100% on board.
“I think it just makes for a better work environment,” said Allison Faulkner, the Claims Team lead at PetFirst. “When you’re happier to come to work, you get more work done. And I’m definitely happier coming to work when I have Maizie with me.”
“It definitely is easier to focus when you’re in a good mood, and having your dog around definitely helps keep morale up throughout the day,” agreed J Trudeau, the Compliance Claims and Risk Manager. “You kind of avoid that 3 o’clock lull that happens.”
“It gets people to interact more,” added insurance saleswoman Hannah Baird. “I’ve met more people from them coming over to my desk and wanting to love on my dog that I ever would have [on my own].”
As it turns out, there are more than just anecdotes to establish that dogs can benefit workplaces. For example, a study from Virginia Commonwealth University found that employees who had their dogs with them experienced less stress on the job, and their communication with coworkers improved.
Still, PetFirst employees will be the first to say: it can’t just be a furry free-for-all. The company established protocols ahead of time to make sure everyone’s day is safe, comfortable, and fresh-smelling.
Employees are expected to keep their pets’ vaccinations up-to-date, and promptly clean up any accidents that may occur. Behavior is tested and monitored with the dogs as well, to make sure everyone gets along. And, their building is big enough that employees with allergies can get their own dander-free spaces.
“When we interview candidates, we obviously make sure they’re aware that this is a pet-friendly environment,” said human resources manager Taryn Pearson. “That is a great recruiting tool for us most of the time.”
In conclusion, I would like to present you with this video of two PetFirst puppies playing.
I rest my case.
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