Category Archives: dog-friendly workplaces

Workplace fostering

Most rescue and adoption groups are familiar with fostering programs – these are programs when a dog is taken to a home on a temporary basis so it can learn to adapt to a domestic living situation.

Foster carers are very special people who bring animals into their homes knowing that they may have had a rough start in life; they expect some teething problems.  Adopters will often ask to look at dogs who have been fostered because these dogs have a ‘head start’ in terms of settling in and can be less challenging for the adoptive family.

The folks at PetRescue, which supports 800 independent rescue groups in Australia, have taken fostering to a whole new level by developing a Workplace Foster Care Programme.  The rationale for the programme relies on research evidence into the human-animal bond and the positive impacts that pets in the workplace can have on productivity.

Things like encouraging staff to interact with one another, stress relief with a dog who wants pats or walkkies, and breaking the ice when new staff are introduced, are all aspects of workplace life that benefit when there’s a dog around.

Workplace Foster Care Programmes also raise awareness, so staff, clients and the general public learn about the benefits of adoption.

workplace foster dog

Vinomofo, a wine retailer based in Melbourne, was an early addition to the Workplace Foster Care Programme (photo by StartUp Daily)

The Sydney Morning Herald has recently covered the story of one company with a greyhound as its workplace foster dog.  Click here to view.

If I was looking for employment, I’d definitely be attracted by companies with a foster dog included in the benefit package.  (Sign me up!)

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

Pet-friendly companies

This post is inspired by my friend Rachel, who tells me that her husband, Nick, is trying persuade his company that they should become pet-friendly.  Or at least give it a try.

I support the concept of pet-friendly accommodation, workplaces, and shopping because I believe it supports good socialization in our dogs, offers stress relief for owners and workers, and supports good dog ownership because dogs are not left at home for long periods of time.

Autodesk dog at work

Photo by Autodesk

Earlier this year, Fortune magazine profiled the 12 best pet-friendly companies.  They are:

  • Genentech, a biotech company.  While it can’t allow pets in the office because of federal hygiene regulations, it makes up for it by providing its employees with discounts for doggy daycare, pet insurance and a company club for dog lovers called gDogs so they can share information.
  • Kimpton, a hotel chain with a long history of being pet-friendly. The company provides its employees with pet insurance, pet bereavement leave and supports them bringing their dogs to work with bowls, treats, and beds.  Some hotel locations also have a Director of Pet Relations which is usually a dog owned by one of the employees whose job it is to greet guests.
  • Atlantic Health, a hospital chain in New Jersey.  It trains its staff to become part of its Soothing Paws therapy program and even sponsors a pet therapy conference.
  • VMWare, a visualization software company with an open campus policy.  Staff who want to bring their dog to work sign an etiquette agreement and their dog is given a bandana.
  • Salesforce, a cloud-based software company in San Francisco.  It provides its employees with pet insurance discounts, dog walking services, and house calls from a vet.  The company’s pet policy called Puppyforce allows up to six employees to book a special room with water bowls, beds, sound-proofed walls, crates and cleaning materials.
  • Mars, the multi-national providing confectionery and pet food products. 80% of the company’s volunteer projects are about animals; traveling staff are supported with pet feeding and boarding programs, and the offices are pet-friendly.
  • Google, the search engine company.  Dog-friendly offices are combined with a dog-themed cafe and an in-house group of employees who are dog enthusiasts called the Dooglers.
  • Build-A-Bear Workshop, a soft toy retailer.  Once an employee signs a Doggy On-Boarding agreement containing basic rules, their dog can come to work.  Dog birthday parties, treats, and a spa and grooming service are offered.
  • Autodesk, providers of design software for architects.  Dog-friendly offices with rules to protect the human staff who have pet allergies, along with discounted pet insurance.
  • GoDaddy, a web hosting and domain name service.  On-site psychology services using assistance dogs.
  • Workday, makers of finance and human resources software. Dog-friendly offices, an annual Take Your Dog to Work party, and financial assistance to help employees with pet adoptions.
  • Activision Blizzard, a gaming company where approximately 395 dogs come to work every day.  During the annual “Pet Parents Day,” the company brings in pet insurance providers and local vets to provide free health screenings, insurance quotes, and treats for both pets and their humans.

Rachel:  Print out this post and have Nick bring it to work with him!

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

 

Exploring the impact of pets in the workplace

Banfield Pet Hospital has published the results of its first-ever study of pet-friendly workplaces in the United States…

Banfield Infographic on Pet Friendly Workplaces

Dogs in the workplace – a health benefit

Think dog-friendly workplaces are only found the in the USA?  Take heart, New Zealanders, they’re moving closer to home…to our rival Australia.

This is good news – because like it or not, New Zealand tends to look to Australia when it comes to things like health and safety initiatives.

Every Friday, for example, workers at VicHealth enjoy Take Your Dog to Work Day.

Suki at the feet of her owner Jane Shill. Photo: Simon Schluter, The Age

Suki at the feet of her owner Jane Shill. Photo: Simon Schluter, The Age

Clothing retailer Cotton On is also allowing office staff to bring their dogs to work.

It’s a boost to morale and encourages workers to go out for walks at lunch breaks.  And, when owners are allowed to bring their dogs with them, absentee rates decrease.

Allowing dogs in the workplace is a ‘perk’ to attract and retain talented workers.

Sounds like you, doesn’t it?

Source:  The Age

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

 

Office Dog

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary is one of those special places that allow dogs in offices.  It’s the ultimate dog-friendly workplace; dogs are not only welcomed in the offices of workers, they are encouraged.

Many office staff take dogs from the sanctuary to give them socialization experience as they prepare to be adopted.

Office Dog

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

Amtrak required to accept small pets

 Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., gives some attention to Lily, his 15-pound French bulldog, Feb. 15 in his office on Capitol Hill in Washington. Lily once was rejected by Amtrak, but the House passed a measure Wednesday that would let her ride with her owner.  Photo by J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., gives some attention to Lily, his 15-pound French bulldog, Feb. 15 in his office on Capitol Hill in Washington. Lily once was rejected by Amtrak, but the House passed a measure Wednesday that would let her ride with her owner. Photo by
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

The Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act passed last week by a vote of 316-101 (132 Republicans joined 184 Democrats in voting for the bill; 101 Republicans voted against).  The Act holds funding for Amtrak, the USA’s national rail network, at current levels.

But, the big news for dog lovers is that the rail line  will designate at least one car per train, where feasible, for pets, so that passengers “may transport a domesticated cat or dog in the same manner as carry-on baggage.”

Representative Jeff Denham, a Republican from California, supported the bill because he likes to travel with Lily, his French Bulldog.  Lily can ride on airplanes with Denham but has been unable to do so on train trips.

In 2014, Amtrak initiated a trial project into pet-friendly travel.  That trial was only in the Chicago area – now Amtrak must accept pets on a much wider basis.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand

 

 

Is a pets-at-work policy wellness’ new best friend?

The challenges for managers these days include ’employee satisfaction’  ‘reduce stress’ ’employee retention’ ‘increase productivity’ and ‘how can we get people to work longer hours?’

In this article by BenefitsPro (a resource for HR managers), you’ll discover the 2012 study which showed that employees whose dog accompanied them to work actually had lower stress at the end of the day compared to the start (the opposite was true for employees who were not accompanied by their pet).

Risdall Public Relations employee Len Mitsch takes advantage of the firm's pet-at-work policy with his dog, Rowdy. Photo courtesy of Risdall Public Relations

Risdall Public Relations employee Len Mitsch takes advantage of the firm’s pet-at-work policy with his dog, Rowdy. Photo courtesy of Risdall Public Relations

“Pet presence may serve as a low-cost, wellness intervention readily available to many organizations,” says Randolph Barker, professor of management in the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Business

For the full story, click the link below:

Is a pets-at-work policy wellness’ new best friend? | BenefitsPro.