It's a dog-eat-dog world in most corporations. And it helps to have a best friend nearby.
Bringing your pet to work is still a fairly rare perk at most companies, but there are definitely benefits to doing so. A study in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management found that people who bring their dogs into the workplace are less stressed, and that sense of job satisfaction extends to people who come into contact with the pet.
"Dogs in the workplace can make a positive difference," wrote principal investigator Randolph T. Barker, Ph.D. and professor of management in the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Business. "The differences in perceived stress between days the dog was present and absent were significant. The employees as a whole had higher job satisfaction than industry norms."
Looking for a job where you can bring Fido along? DogFriendly keeps a running list of companies that are dog-friendly—or you could simply apply for a job at one of these businesses.
—By Chris Morris, Special to CNBC.com
Posted 12 Feb. 2014
Pooches have been a part of the Google workplace culture for years. The search giant, in fact, makes it clear in its code of conduct that it's a company that prefers dogs to cats and suggests employees leave feline friends at home. There are rules, though. Employees have to get approval from their managers and work neighbors to make sure everyone's OK with it. Dogs aren't allowed in meetings, break areas or on the sand volleyball court. And there's a one-strike policy for messes or aggressive behavior.
Since 2005, Etsy has had a dog-friendly office policy, even going so far as to create a "canine operations team." Employees say the four-legged associates lower stress levels and increase levity at work. "It's funny because I notoriously dislike dogs, but I love having them here," said employee experience manager Sarah Starpoli. "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.'"
While most companies limit employees to bringing in dogs, Tito's has no such restrictions. Employees are encouraged to bring in any animal—even rabbits. Dogs do get most-favored status, though, with their own play area next to the distillery, and they're allowed to roam free around the office. The company is also committed to animal rescue, with employees serving as fosters and donating goods for fundraising efforts for rescue and shelter organizations.
Amazon kept dogs in mind when designing its forthcoming Seattle campus, cordoning off space for a dog park, where pets who came to the office could stretch and answer the call of nature. Reception desks are stocked with dog biscuits, and there are dog-friendly drinking fountains scattered around the current campus as well.
Given the grass-roots nature of this ice cream company, it probably doesn't come as a big surprise that pooches are welcome at the South Burlington, Vt., headquarters. The in-house dogs are introduced to visitors just as readily as employees are. And they've even proved evangelists for their species. One employee who was once afraid of dogs eventually ended up changing her mind and adopting two of her own after working there a while.
The company's IAMS and Eukanuba pet-food divisions go out of their way to be dog-friendly, not only allowing employees to bring their pets to work but also providing free pet food to employees—with annual allowances of up to 400 lbs. There are even animals with management positions, specifically a vice president of canine communications. Griffin, a Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen, currently holds the job after a nine-year stint from a Labrador named Euka.
Build-A-Bear likes more than stuffed animals. The company's headquarters welcomes dogs—even to the extent where it has a CED, or chief executive dog—who throws a party every year on his birthday. Employees are welcome to bring their canines to their desk and meetings, though not the cafeteria. The policy has been in place for more than 10 years.
Clif's benefits have been widely praised from publications ranging from Fortune to Outdoor, with a focus on the company's holistic approach to well-being. Part of that includes being a dog-friendly workplace. The four-legged mascots occasionally even make the company blog, like when they abscond with someone's bagel.
It's probably not a big surprise that an organization so dedicated to dogs would allow them at the office. What is surprising, though, is they're only allowed at the Raleigh, N.C. headquarters of the American Kennel Club (AKC). New York City staffers have to leave their pets at home. Dogs have to be at least six months-old, and hold a Canine Good Citizen certificate (or hold an AKC Obedience, Rally or Championship title). They're not allowed in meeting or break rooms, and if you're going to bring your pooch to the office, you'll need to have a 'dog buddy' to watch over Sparky when work calls you away from the immediate area.
You're unlikely to find many companies more dog-friendly than Zynga. (The company is named after former CEO Mark Pincus's dog, after all.) Employees can take their canines for walks on the "wooftop" dog park or take them to lunch outside the cafeteria's dog-friendly "barking lot." The company even provides health insurance for employees' pets.