Can I bring my dog to work?

According to an online survey entitled 10 Biggest Job Likes and Gripes of Employees from Glassdoor, the biggest job “like” listed by employees is the quality of their coworkers, but right after that is their happiness with their work environment. Since HireArt specializes in making sure companies are screening for the most enthusiastic, passionate, and committed employees, we thought we’d look closer at the perks and benefits that go into creating a great place to work.

As a recent respondent to one of our own surveys put it, “We have jobs that are high pressure, intense, and fast-paced. We hire only really smart, really empathetic people who are ready to get in on the ground floor of something very exciting.” And once those new-hires are on board, it’s crucial to keep them happy and focused, which is where perks from onsite laundry service to bringing your dog to work come in.

Inc. Magazine recently reported on perks that companies use to attract top talent and create work life balance:

  • Sojern, a San Francisco-based ad platform, now offers up to a week of paid time off to volunteer for charity.
  • Amicus, a New York fundraiser for nonprofits, will donate a cow to a needy family in a developing country.
  • San-Francisco-based startup Exec matches the usual free house cleaning, free errands, free catered lunch and dinner, and adds a custom dinosaur hoodie.
  • ly, a Vancouver-based startup, offers coding retreats to Bangkok.
  • The salon-booking website StyleSeat offers employees a budget for haircuts, massages, and shaves, and created a “Whisky of the Month” club.
  • LA-based Scopely made a recent recruiting campaign sizzle with hiring bonuses up to $11,000 in “bacon-wrapped cash,” along with a year’s supply of beer, a custom-made tuxedo, and an oil painting of the new employee.
  • At iCracked, a San Francisco-based provider of iPhone repair services, the main perk for new hires is free, unlimited rides on the company’s yacht, which is berthed right outside the office. That’s on top of endless food, free gym membership, and more.
  • Airbnb is now a dog-friendly workplace, and offers each new hire a $2,000 stipend for travel.

The perk of bringing your dog to work isn’t new though. In 1999, Pet Sitters International started the first “Take Your Dog to Work Day,” and it was a big hit. Since then, several major companies have expanded on that concept to encourage regular participation; the next official day—mark your calendar now– is June 20, 2015.

Ginger in car.jpg

Caesar Milan, known as “The Dog Whisperer,” calls dogs in the workplace a win-win situation. Obviously, the dog benefits from human interaction throughout the day. Milan points to research showing that dogs in the workplace can lower stress and absenteeism, while increasing employee productivity. The American Pet Products Association has sponsored research that shows pet owners make fewer doctor visits and have better survival rates from major health challenges. The APPA even cites statistics showing that the simple act of petting and talking to animals can reduce stress and blood pressure. Pinterest has a nice slide show of the top 10 places that let you bring a dog to work that you can use for your next search.

Sujan Patel at Fast Company has some good guidelines on creating a good workplace. He recommends employers build trust, incentivize employees, allow creativity to prosper, show appreciation, and allow workers to create their own schedules. Flexible schedules are growing in importance, and Patel points to a new, radical work option: results-only work environment (ROWE). Created by human resource strategists Jody Thompson and Cali Ressler, ROWE is a shift in culture that means employees are solely judged on job performance, rather than the number of hours they put in at the office. Thompson and Ressler found that productivity rises an average 20% and voluntary turnover rates decrease by 90% when companies shift from the old, familiar 40+ hour workweek to ROWE. Daniel Pink, author of “Drive,” calls ROWE “one of the biggest ideas in talent in the last decade.”

For those who commute to the office, bringing in your four-footed friend can tip the balance of a happy, healthy workplace, and more employers are allowing it. So the short answer is probably “Yes” – you are likely to be able to bring your dog to work if you try hard enough. Given the rise of that perk, the trend is clearly in favor of wagging more and barking less.

14 Comments

  1. Leslie Stockton said:

    Great read .. 🙂 Have a great evening 🙂

    January 7, 2015
    Reply
  2. Megan said:

    As someone with severe pet allergies, I think that dog-friendly policies are well-meaning but harmful. Though leadership pays lip service to the idea that anyone can request that their space be dog-free, there is obvious peer-pressure not to make that request. Further, dander cannot be limited to a specific area of an office – it disperses in the air and ends up in the carpet of hallways and foot-traffic areas between cubicles. The only medications sufficient to ease the symptoms leave me drowsy. I could get allergy shots, but those are not covered by our company health policy. Further, it seems extreme to push someone to a large number of doctor’s visits and injections just so they can get through the work day – and allergy shots are not even guaranteed to relieve the symptoms. I think pets are wonderful, and I wish I could have them myself. If I did, I’m sure I would enjoy having them around during the work day. That being said, these policies put allergy sufferers in a bad position – and I think thoughtlessly so. Good luck if you are in a small office without an HR department to help negotiate these kinds of issues.

    January 7, 2015
    Reply
  3. Mark McCormick said:

    So people that are allergic to dogs??

    January 7, 2015
    Reply
  4. said:

    I used to bring my dog to work and coworker morale was at an all-time high! I think depending on the dog, size and personality (barker vs. non-barker), you can set rules and parameters around it to benefit everyone! Great article!

    January 7, 2015
    Reply
  5. Olivia Rodriguez said:

    My Chihuahua Cisco would love it, he is a very social dog and i wish i could bring him to work because he misses me. Arf!

    January 7, 2015
    Reply
  6. Sasha Ortiz said:

    Makes me want to run out and get a dog!

    January 7, 2015
    Reply
  7. Ernesto said:

    Great article, if that is instituted at work, I’m getting a dog!

    January 7, 2015
    Reply
  8. Tasha said:

    And what about people like me who are allergic to dogs and cats. Should we just suffer. People before pets

    January 7, 2015
    Reply
    • Bernardo said:

      I kinda feel like common sense is losing to interesting and different nowadays. Also this “perk” is a cheaper alternative to more substantial benefits, like the company paying for gym membership. It does suck to apply to work somewhere only to find out its dog-friendly and you suffer from allergies and or would just rather not have to put up with it. It’s even worse when you have no choice but to take it , suffer and deal until 1 health insurance kicks in and 2 you can find something else. I feel like ideas like this push more people away from a position than to it. Sadly its kinda well known that a lot of people don’t train their dogs properly. So knowing on Fridays or even worse every single day, you need to deal with yappy poorly trained animals and their would be a deal breaker for a lot of people.

      Pay better. Give your people real perks that save them money.

      January 8, 2015
      Reply
  9. Bernardo said:

    I worked at a hip upscale office with a dog before and it sucked. I discovered I had allergies and my asthma acted up. I spent months feeling bad because my boss wanted to bring his dog to work. Finally after one too many asthma attacks I left. Dealing with dog farts, scared customers coming in who had dog trauma, and shedding on my work clothes just isnt right for a professional environment that deals with people. Also I had to wait three months for my health insurance to kick in.

    Fun times…..

    January 8, 2015
    Reply
  10. Cheryl said:

    I think they should have a bring your cat to work day too.

    January 8, 2015
    Reply
  11. ChandraMohan said:

    I think engaging the dog also in work routines could be a strategy of eliminating undesirable distractions and unpleasant out comes in performance.

    January 8, 2015
    Reply
  12. Tami said:

    June 20, 2015 is a Saturday when I don’t workkkkkkkk 🙁 All I’ve ever wanted to do is bring my dog to work/everywhere with me

    January 8, 2015
    Reply
  13. Betty Liem said:

    Maybe, but maybe not around Asian people!

    January 8, 2015
    Reply

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