A dog at the office isn’t just a prerequisite for trendy startups. Whether your office is at home on the couch or in a traditional corporate setting, having a four-legged pet roaming around can neutralize stressful situations and encourage productivity.
Dog-friendly company URBN (which includes brands Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters) has allowed pets in the office since they opened their doors in Center City, Philadelphia, and again when they moved to Navy Yard, a 1,200-acre dynamic urban development that includes a dog park just for employees and their canine friends. They have a couple hundred dogs on site.
“Being able to bring your dog to work helps make life a little less stressful as a dog owner,” says Bridget McCrory, URBN spokesperson. “It takes away the stress and planning that comes with taking time out of your workday to go home to let your dog out.”
It’s simple, too. Employees fill out a registration form—including vet records, a photo and a list of some of their pets’ favorite things—before bringing them to the office. And as far as keeping pet housekeeping in order? There are guidelines that employees and their dogs must follow.
Other companies who support canine co-workers include Amazon, Ben & Jerry’s, Bitly, Etsy, Google and Ibex Outdoor Clothing.
So although some companies already welcome canine colleagues in the office, others haven’t made the full-time commitment yet. Which is one reason why Pet Sitters International (PSI) created Take Your Dog to Work Day®—to inspire businesses to jump on the pet-friendly bandwagon, at least for one day, to experience the mood boost of pets in the workplace, while simultaneously helping pets in need by encouraging adoption.
When PSI founder Patti Moran saw the ever-rising number of pet intake and euthanasia rates at U.S. animal shelters, she searched for a better solution. Thus, Take Your Dog to Work Day (TYDTWDay) began in 1999 with 300 companies. Since then, more and more companies have joined in—because, besides increased productivity and positivity, who wouldn’t benefit from some puppy love?
But in case you need more convincing, read on for the benefits of Take Your Dog to Work Day.
1. It reduces stress and increases happiness.
A 2012 Virginia Commonwealth University study shows employees from a U.S. manufacturing company who brought dogs to work felt less stressed throughout the day than those who didn’t. They also had lower cortisol levels (the hormone that causes stress) than their counterparts.
2. You’re giving back to the community.
Partnering up with the local animal shelter or pet organization is great for business—your participation in TYDTWDay can increase your company’s visibility in the marketplace. Plus, it’s a great conversational icebreaker and shows the softer side of your company.
3. You’re supporting a worthy cause.
By participating in this one-day event, your company shows the benefits of pet ownership and encourages people to adopt or rescue pets from shelters.
4. It’s an awesome perk.
These days, many companies are decreasing costly employee benefits. Offering a special day for employees to bring in pets can be a cost-effective way to add benefits.
Overall employee satisfaction, fun, positive publicity and, most of all, supporting a great cause are all good reasons to participate in the TYDTWDay event. And if things go really well in your office, every day could be TYDTWDay.
If you do partake in the event, have fun and don’t forget to use the #takeyourdogtoworkday hashtag to share your cute pooch pictures at work!
Lori Rochino is a freelance writer based in the greater Philadelphia area. Her work has appeared in Huffington Post and Examiner. She’s the author of Fifty Shades of Simple: How to Prioritize in the Age of Information.