Jo Ann Woodsum
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Words of Wisdom from the Leasing Diva

Dogs Are Central to Corporate Culture

For many companies, allowing dogs in the workplace is a core value for attracting and retaining top talent.  For some companies, dogs of the company’s initial employees have become iconic of the company itself.  For example, Zynga’s logo even incorporates a dog (founder Mark Pincus's American Bulldog Zinga).  

This core value seems to have a basis in science which has shown that bringing dogs to the workplace boosts productivity.

Once a company reaches a certain size, however, the early days of dog informality give way to the implementation of a formal dog policy.  As general counsel, you’ve been tasked with figuring out your company’s new dog policy.  These are some of the challenges you will face:

  • If there are 500 employees, can each employee bring 1 dog to work? 2 dogs?
  • Can any dog come to the office or should there be some “quality” standards?
  • If limitations are placed on numbers and types of dogs in the workplace, who will police this for the company?
  • How will any work get done if there are dozens or even hundreds of dogs at work on any given day?
  • What if some employees don’t like dogs or are allergic – do you have to have dog-free zones?
  • What are the legal risks to the company in allowing dogs in the workplace?
  • Can you find a landlord who will agree to let your company have dogs in your leased space?  Stay tuned for my up-coming blog post What Landlords Think About Dogs in their Office Buildings

Leasing Diva’s word to the wise for tenants: One of the growing pains that high tech startups experience is putting protocols in place for what once occurred by happenstance or on an “as needed” basis.  Stay-tuned for my up-coming blog post about the 5 Key Elements of a Successful Tenant Dog Policy.

Pets at WorkSarah Moon