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Monday, December 8, 2014

3 Ways Pets Are Becoming a Bigger Part of the Workplace

Affordable HealthCare - Your Pets Deserve it

Professional Life, Pet Life: 3 Ways Pets Are Becoming a Bigger Part of the Workplace

July 17th, 2014 by Courtney Buchanan

On any given day, American employees bring more than 2.3 million dogs to work. So it’s no surprise to see a few pooches lounging around the typical workplace these days. What is a surprise are the lengths to which pet-progressive businesses are going to accommodate our four-legged companions — in some cases with privileges that employees may not even enjoy themselves.
Encouraging pets in the workplace is a win-win for both employees and employers, since workers don’t want to always leave their dogs at home, and research shows that having dogs in the office is an effective morale-booster. Here are a few emerging perks gaining popularity with pro-pet innovators:
1. There’s a Dog Version of That
Image via Amazon
Image via Amazon
Where there are people perks, there are doggie perks at Amazon. Just as employees have candies or mints to choose from at the reception desk, dogs get a handful of biscuits. Next to the outdoor water fountains are dog-friendly fountains. The hundreds of dogs that roam Amazon’s halls are known to attend meetings and lounge near their owners, says Teal Pennebaker, company spokesperson. Once the company’s new offices in Seattle are completed, dogs will also have their own park to play in with other dogs.
2. Pet Roles, Pet Titles
If giving dogs their own water fountain isn’t enough, how about giving them a job title and designating a chair for them during meetings? At handmade goods site Etsy, four-legged friends make up the canine operations team. In a lighthearted video, Etsy notes the 22 office dogs, as of 2013, and their respective titles:
  • Dottie, VP of canine operations
  • Starbuck, core platform team
  • Pierre, search and sniff team
  • Sadie, data fetcher
  • Hoover, mammal resources
  • Milo, top dog
  • Fish, lucky dog
Ice cream icon Ben & Jerry’s — which has been a corporate rebel since its founding 36 years ago — also has several key doggie team members: Momo is in design, Jack handles R&D, Allison is in retail and the newest member Scout is still finding his niche, Sean Greenwood, public relations spokesperson for Ben & Jerry’s, told Mother Nature Network.
3. Pets Added to the Healthcare Plan
Image via Ben & Jerry's via Mother Nature Network
Image via Ben & Jerry’s via Mother Nature Network
At Zynga, dog-friendly culture is baked into the company since it was named after the founder’s American bulldog Zinga. But it still comes as a surprise that there is one dog in the office for every nine employees. As part of its pet-friendly approach, Zynga offers optional pet insurance for employees to purchase. As stated on the company’s website, “Pets are family, too.”
One in three Fortune 500 companies offers employees a discount on pet insurance as an employee perk, according to the Associated Press. Some of these companies subsidize the expense while others cover 100 percent of the pet insurance premiums.
Creative companies are integrating pet perks into employee benefits to cater to the bond that people have with their pets. If their pets are happy, employees are happy. As younger generations — who are more attached to their dogs — start to dominate the workforce, companies will need to adapt to the increasing interest of employees in bringing their pets to work.