This Office is Going to the Dogs!
What you need to know when bringing dogs into your workplace – part 1
The classic story – your high tech startup was founded by a couple of guys with dogs. In the early days, the guys worked out of their garage and the dogs were their constant companions. As the company grew, dogs in the workplace became a cornerstone of the young company’s corporate culture. Press fast forward, the company now has several hundred employees and dogs as an essential component of the corporate culture presents an unprecedented level of challenges. Is having dogs at work scalable?
- At Amazon’s HQ in Seattle, Washington, about 2,000 dogs are brought to work every day (with a total of about 25,000 employees).
- Google has its own subset of dog lovers called “Dooglers”
- Salesforce has its “puppyforce” program which doesn’t actually mean puppies at work but instead refers to a room dedicated to employees and their dogs. For a video of the puppyforce experience, click here.
- Nestle (which owns Purina) allows dogs at its UK office through its PAW (Pets at Work) program.
- At Ben & Jerry’s located in bucolic Burlington, Vermont, they have instituted the K 9-5-er’s club and proudly display members of the club on their website.
- Activision Blizzard has over 300 dogs at the office on any given day.
Other dog-friendly companies include: Facebook, Klimpton Hotel Group, Zynga, Etsy, and VMWare. There is a growing trend of employers adopting dog-friendly policies in the workplace. According to NPR, about 7% of employers allow dogs – up 5% from 2011.
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. As the company grows, a process of intense formalization begins of all company policies including creating a dog policy. See my blog post about the 5 Key Elements of a Successful Tenant Dog Policy.