Animal Friendly Companies: Pet Policies at Work
You probably have heard of Bring Your Pet (or Dog) to work day, but the conventional ways companies have viewed pets is continuing to expand. Some companies are including pets into the workplace by offering leave time for ailing pets, sanctioning pet areas in the office, and offering pet insurance. This is a growing trend for companies and there are many unique variations on pet friendly policies.
Research has shown that 41% of pet owners value pet policies in the workplace. Many companies have adopted a form of these policies to improve employee morale, increase productivity and happiness, and as a recruiting tool. Around 8% of employers have adopted pet policies, representing an area for growth in employee relations. In some cases, it can increase collaboration among colleagues as co-workers stop by to talk to a pet. Businesses that aren’t able to have permanent pet friendly policies are also joining in – National Bring Your Dog to Work Day is always the Friday after Father’s day (third Sunday in June in the US) and helps promote adoptions of canines as well as provide a fun activity for employees!
People who bring their pet to work are typically less anxious, more engaged and productive, and have more social support. Pets also give us an excuse to interact with each other and meet new people, which can be an instant connection to break the ice. Some companies establish a company pet that is in the office everyday instead of employees bringing their own pets in. Some executives have suggested this be a solution to ensuring that companies avoid pets fighting or being overly distracting, or for accommodating associates with allergies or other needs. A few examples of companies with pet friendly policies follow.
MARS is a well known brand for their candy bars like Milky Way and Snickers – however, they also produce many types of pet foods. They offer pet feeding and boarding services, and they have extremely pet friendly offices. MARS incorporates volunteer service into their workplace culture, and associates primarily donate their time to animal causes and projects. They have pet friendly offices all over the world, including Brazil, Mexico, Taiwan, Japan, and Russia. They are also an investor in Banfield Pet Hospital and have a three-acre community dog park at Banfield’s corporate headquarters in Vancouver, Washington.
Next time you’re traveling, Kimpton hotels are the place to stay with your furry friends. Their slogan is if the pet fits in the door, it’s welcome at no extra fee, with no breed restrictions. They allow associates to bring their pets to work with them, and offer pet insurance.
Many of their properties put the employee pet’s to work, dubbing them with the title “Director of Pet Relations” and allowing them to be the furry face that greets guests at check-in.
It is not surprising that employer review site Glassdoor is one of most pet friendly companies; on any given day employees bring upwards of 30 pets to work, and they ensure non-pet areas for employees with allergies! Since its inception, Tito’s Handmade Vodka based in Austin, Texas has incorporated canines into their business; they rescued abandoned dogs that would roam around their distillery, they donate to charitable causes helping animals, and now offer employees the opportunity to bring their pets to work. Bissell vacuums is another investor in friendly pet policies; they offer a fenced off area for associates to bring their pets, work on their tasks there, all while having a space for their pets to roam, a pet washing station (super handy!) and an outdoor walking path.
It’s nice to see pet food providers like Purina have pet friendly workplaces. Purina believes in the value of pets in the workplace and have even started their own marketing campaign to encourage other businesses to adopt pet friendly policies. They allow pets in their offices daily, and encourage their associates to reap the positive benefits of having their companions around.
Etsy, the e-commerce platform for creatives, is another pet-friendly company who’s instilled this vision since their inception in 2005. Employees may bring their pet to work on any day and this helps their company culture flourish with its casual, enjoyable environment. Even associates who typically do not like dogs are said to enjoy the experience of having a happy four-legged friend to relieve stress and create a less serious workplace.
It’s pretty clear that companies are recognizing the worth of having animals in the workplace. More and more Americans are viewing their pets as part of the family, and this in turn makes it much more desirable to have those family members with us. The benefits of offering a pet friendly workplace has been successful for many industry heavyweights like Alphabet (Google) and Amazon, and continues to play a role in employee welfare decision making. If you are a Fanimals who works in organizations without pet-friendly policies, you may want to speak to human resources or management about the benefits and possibilities of implementing a company pet policy. Does your office have any unique pet policies? If so, let us know below!
Sources: Fortune, PETA, Monster.com, The Muse, USA Today, MARS, Strategic Human Resource Management, Time, Purina, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, CIO.com, PetSit, Veterinarians Money Digest, Pet Positives, USC Applied Psychology Department, Scientific American, GlassDoor