You might've had a "ruff" work week but Amazon's four-legged employees sure haven't. At the retail giant's Seattle-based headquarters, human employees share their work space with approximately 6,000 pups on any given day, the company announced on their blog.
These furry friends have just one dog to thank for their employment opportunity: Rufus. During Amazon's early years, a husband and wife team brought their Welsh corgi to the office and he immediately won the hearts of fellow employees, according to Amazon.
Most importantly, Rufus was also a hard worker and "Amazonians" used his paw to click links on the company website. Although the dog has since passed away, his legacy remains. Amazon states that there are photos of Rufus around the 8.1 million square foot campus and he even has a building named after him.
In fact, Rufus made such an impact that if you click a broken link and land on an error page, his picture comes up, along with three other dogs that followed in his "paw" steps, says Amazon: Lucy the Labrador, Sherriff the golden-Aussie mix and Martini the papillon.
While some Amazon employees receive daily catered lunches and happy hour Fridays, these pups get access to some nifty perks as well. Not only do they get to spend the day with their owners, plus receive all the belly rubs a dog could ask for, they're able to snag dog treats at every reception desk in the company.
Amazon also has a doggie deck, for pets to run around, on their 17th floor, which boasts a fake fire hydrant, dog relief areas and water stations. Additionally, the company offers a leash-free dog park where pups can play on rocks and other structures.
On Halloween, employees and their dogs get to bond at Barktoberfest, where dog costumes range from John Snow to unicorns.
Now, you may be wondering who the dogs report to at the office. That person is none other than Lara Hirschfield, Amazon's "Woof Pack" Manager.
"Dogs in the workplace is an unexpected mechanism for connection," says Hirschfield. "I see Amazonians meeting each other in our lobbies or elevators every day because of their dogs."
She may have a point. A Central Michigan University study recently found that that the presence of a dog in a group office setting encouraged subjects to be more cooperative, communicative and friendly than in groups where there was no dog.
Additionally, more and more companies are allowing dogs in the office, although that number is still fairly small. The Society for Human Resources reports that 7 percent of employers allow pets in the workplace, up from 4 percent in 2014.
Many tech companies use pet-friendly workplaces to attract millennials, including Google, Salesforce and Etsy. According to Glassdoor, these companies may be on to something. The jobsite lists the five benefits of bringing your pet to work: stress relief, work-life balance, collaboration, employee wellness and retention and recruiting.
Hirschfield notes that this information isn't new to Amazon. "Amazon has been dog-friendly since Day 1," she says on the company's blog. "Our dogs add to the fun, dynamic energy of our workplace."
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