This post is sponsored by Purina. All thoughts and opinions are mine!
The first rule of Pets at Work is that you don’t talk about Pets at Work.
Oh wait, that’s Fight Club.
Pets at Work is something you talk about when it’s National Take Your Dog to Work Day, like it is today.
Pets at Work is something you talk about when you’ve witnessed it firsthand at a pet care company like Purina (this is me at Purina headquarters two years ago on Take Your Dog to Work Day).
And Pets at Work is something you totally talk about, especially if someone asks you about it, like I did with my large circle of online friends:
Do you work for an employer or have you ever worked for an employer that allows you to bring your pet to work? What’s your experience? If they don’t, how would it change your work day if you could?
And if you work from home, you technically work with your pets. What’s that like?
I figured a few friends might chime in giving me some food for thought but instead, I found that people really do talk about Pets at Work. In fact, they share stories and pictures too!
Take my new friend Gwen, for example (literally – we just met last week!). When we met, she shared how she loves working for Recognition Concepts in Annapolis, MD and one of the reasons is that she brings her young dog in to work with her every day (she leaves her older pup at home). In fact, you can see both her boss and her co-worker loving on their unofficial “mascot.”
Gwen shared some of the reasons she loves it: “My dog has been coming with me since January and he’s been great for my productivity. The quick little trips outside to walk him and fresh air gives my brain a break.”
Maria is another friend of mine with a “real job” (i.e., she has to put on clothes and go to an office). She works for Big Sea, a web design and development agency, which is a pet-friendly workplace.
For her, the in-office pets make for great conversation starters both online and off (just check out one of their Instagram pics below!).
“Petey the Boston Terrier has been with us every day for about two years. Maple, a dachshund mix, has recently joined the fold, along with a spirited Shiba Inu named Max. We’re mindful of our clients’ preferences, but we’ve found that the vast majority of our visitors enjoy having the pups around. Petey has become something of a mascot, and is occasionally featured in our branding.”
And a friend of a friend shared a photo of her work companion exclaiming, “Cyrus loves it! He gets to play with other dogs and not be stuck in his apartment all day!”
But those of us that work from home, already know that value of having our furry companions right next to us. I’m never at my desk without battling for foot space with Roscoe and Layla. And before my cats and dogs fought like cats and dogs, I’d have to battle keyboard space with Beamer (something cat owners know all too well).
Some of you might think it’s a fun little idea and that’s where it ends. But as you can see from above, it’s not just forward-thinking pet care companies that embrace their pets as part of their workday routine.
And now, Purina is showing that pet-friendly workplace benefits are viewed as top drivers for morale and retention. Today marks the launch of Purina’s first Pets at Work report which examined pet owners and their attitudes around having pets in the workplace, and the benefits it brings to employers and employees.
When I visited Purina two years ago, there was an abundance of pets in the office for Take Your Dog (or Cat) to Work Day. But that’s not the every day reality. Some pets are more suited for the at-home life but others are regular fixtures in the office as Purina has been encouraging its associates to bring their pets to work for almost 20 years.
Are you an employee and you’re sold? Want to get your boss on board? Or are YOU the boss and want to get your employees on board? Purina has created a site with a complete toolkit on steps to take to see if it’s the right fit for your workplace, including Making Your Workplace Pet-Friendly, an Employee Pledge, Authorization Form, and of course, the all-important Etiquette Guide (hey, let’s face it – not all pets are workplace-appropriate).
Want to join the movement? Tell Purina you support pet-friendly workplaces by logging on to Purina’s Pets at Work site, and tagging @Purina socially and sharing photos of your furry work companions with #PetsAtWork!
Want more info? Just check out some of the highlights from Purina’s Inaugural Pets at Work Report:
- 63 percent of employees in pet-friendly workplaces indicated they are “very satisfied” with their work environment – and this is nearly twice as many as those in workplaces where pets are not allowed
- Eight in ten people in pet-friendly workplaces also say that having a pet at work would make them feel more happy, relaxed and sociable
- 65 percent of employees at pet-friendly workplaces say that it is important to them that a potential employer allows pets
- 19 percent of cat owners in pet-friendly workplaces bring their cat to work daily; 20 percent of dog owners bring their dog daily
- One in three people in non-pet- friendly workplaces wish they could bring their pet to work