Category Archives: dog-friendly workplaces

Take Your Dog to Work Day

Take Your Dog to Work Day is coming up on Friday.  I hope many of you are able to take your dog with you for the dayand maybe even convince your manager that a pet-friendly workplace has ongoing benefits.

Here’s my column on Office Dogs…profiling two Christchurch businesses that allow dogs to come to work!

September 2016-page-001

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

PAWrometer – taking the pulse of pets in the workplace

In early 2017, Banfield Pet Hospital undertook its 2nd annual PAWrometer survey to assess employee and employer views about pet-friendly workplaces.

For those who’d like to read the report – click here: Banfield’s PAWrometer report 2017.

More employees are looking for pet-related benefits (things like pet insurance) than for pet-friendly workplaces, this report found.  And not surprisingly, Millennials are the demographic of employee who are most interested in pet-friendly workplaces.  (I’m not a Millennial – I’m Gen X – so clearly I am a woman ahead of her time.)

The report also acknowledges the challenges in managing a pet-friendly workplace.

For those that don’t want to read the report, here’s the infographic with the summarized results…

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

Pawrometer

Pawternity leave (puppy parental leave)

Well done to UK-based brewing company BrewDog.  The company was dog-friendly from its 2007 start – with 2 human founders and 1 dog.

Now with employees in the USA and UK, and already with dog-friendly offices, they have instituted one week of puppy parental leave for their employees.  When a new dog comes into your life, you can have a week off to get it settled.

This video tells you a bit more about it:

The Puppy Parental Leave policy is a first for the brewing industry.  Let’s hope more follow – along with companies in other industries.

Dogs are great for our health and well-being.  Happy dog owners also make happy and engaged employees when they feel that their status as dog parents is recognised.

Source:  BrewDog

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