7 offices where Take Your Dog to Work Day is every day
Dog culture is barking its way into companies around the world.
From mom-and-pop shops to Fortune 500 corporations, companies around the world are finding vast benefits in incorporating dogs into the workplace. Whether it's an onsite dog park, or a canine office mascot, or simply a few pups sniffing around cubicles, roaming the halls and napping in between meetings, dog culture is an increasingly common – and in some cases, essential – component of many work environments.
And in case you didn't know, there's an entire day dedicated to this furry phenomenon – Take Your Dog to Work Day, which happens to be today! If you're a dog owner who works from home, this is likely an everyday occurrence for you. But you're not alone – if you're lucky enough to work at one of the following companies, you don't have to wait for that one day a year to show off your prized pooch to your colleagues.
Here are seven offices where Fido comes first today, and every day.
Dogs aren't just welcome, they're encouraged at Google. (Photo: Jeff Ryan/Flickr)
Google's welcoming policy on pets is well-known in the industry, and it's also a source of pride for the Silicon Valley-based tech pioneers. By calling itself a "dog company," Google's policy extends to all of its 70 offices in countries such as Belgium, Denmark, Israel, Russia and Brazil. In Israel, for instance, seven or eight dogs can be seen mingling with employees at the Tel Aviv office, according to Google spokeswoman Caterina Onori. Of course, that also means employees are expected to clean up after their dogs and respect colleagues' allergies. Its dog policy embodies the “tenacity, loyalty and all-around playfulness” of Google's company culture, corporate communications manager Meghan Casserly told Fast Company. “As long as they respect our ‘no peeing on the carpets’ policy.”
Ben & Jerry's
If it weren't for Ben & Jerry's liberal dog-friendly policy, employee Lisa Wernhoff wouldn't be able to own a dog.
“I live an hour away, and I don’t have a job where I can rush home to let her out,” Wernhoff told The Bark, referring to her 10-year-old Pomeranian/terrier mix, Momo. “But because of the pet policy, I can bring her here.”
Seeing a dog skitter down the hall at the iconic ice cream makers' Vermont corporate headquarters is about as common as seeing a colleague take a drink from the water cooler. This furry faction even has a name: K-9 to 5’ers. For employees like Wernhoff who know how healthy it is to take frequent breaks, office dogs are a needed distraction from the monotony of computer work and a welcome mood-booster.
Glide is a developer of a successful video-messaging app that has helped millions of long-distance couples and homesick wanderers stay in touch. But at its core, it is a small startup in Jerusalem, Israel, that treats its employees like family and maintains a casual, laid-back atmosphere. So laid-back, in fact, that there's a ping pong table in the lounge, and meetings are often held the same way your elementary-school gym teacher liked to situate her class – no chairs, no desks, just good, old-fashioned brainstorming and teambuilding on that glossy hardwood floor. Oh, and then there's Shelby, proud companion to Ami Mahloof, one of Glide's development engineers. Shelby likes to sit front and center at Glide meetings, making sure no one falls asleep or misses their turn to talk. Shelby is just one of several Glide dogs who like to frequent the office with their owners – to coworkers' delight.
"We believe that a happy, well-behaved dog lowers stress and brings love," Jonathan Caras, one of Glide's founders, told From The Grapevine. "This is true both at home and in the workplace."
What could be more dog-friendly than a company that names itself after the CEO's dog? That's right – Zynga's founder, Mark Pincus, set quite the precedent when his American bulldog, Zinga, became the namesake for his San Francisco gaming development company in 2009. With a dog-human ratio of 9:1, an endless supply of dog treats in the reception area, and a list of company perks including partially subsidized pet insurance and a rooftop dog park, it's evident that dogs are firmly ingrained in Zynga's culture. That is, if you couldn't tell already by looking at their logo.
Already an enviable place to work due to the sheer nature of its product, Chehalem Winery in Newberg, Oregon, also boasts a warm, welcoming environment for employees' dogs. This reputation earned Chehalem a spot on Bark Magazine's list of Best Places to Work for 2014. The winery's accountant, Priscilla Richardson, comes into work most days with a trusty assistant – Oscar, a Rhodesian-shepherd mix. Oscar and other office pooches also enjoy a grassy, fenced-in, 1-acre dog area next to the winery that allows plenty of room for playing and socializing of both the human and canine variety.
Many companies allow the occasional dog visit, but at the online retail giant's headquarters in Seattle, you'll find that dogs are an integral part of the day-to-day operations of Amazon. Employees have the quintessential break room where they can grab their meals or a snack from the vending machine, but dogs get biscuits when they walk in the door in the morning, and they can drink at one of several dog-sized water fountains around the office. The site also includes park space, part of which is cordoned off for an off-leash dog enclosure. So when it's time for Fluffy to relieve herself and stretch her legs, it can also be time for her human to take that much-needed break.
Everyone's favorite craft marketplace has had a dog-friendly policy since the company, headquartered in Brooklyn, N.Y., was established in 2005. Now, Etsy's employees – even those who are not dog lovers – sing the policy's praises, citing its therapeutic effect on morale and motivation.
“It’s funny because I notoriously dislike dogs, but I love having them here," says Sarah Starpoli, Etsy's employee experience manager. They make people smile almost universally, and I think they allow anxiety to diffuse when they suddenly skitter by.
"I have a tough time hating my email when Hoover comes over to say ‘hey.'”
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