“He’s really happy to be here,” said Flip Wright, the owner of Casey, a 7-year-old black Labrador. “If I cannot bring him in for some reason and he misses a day, he is really excited to come back.”
Every day is take your dog to work day at The Glenn Group, an advertising and communications firm in Reno and Las Vegas that has an open door policy for employee’s dogs. Friday is Take Your Dog to Work Day for everyone else, which was created by the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and Dog Fancy Magazine.
“We’ve been having dogs and babies in our offices for over 15 years,” said Valerie Glenn, president and CEO of The Glenn Group, and the woman who made the decision to allow pets in the office. “We’ve found them to be great stress reducers, morale builders and all around fun to have in the office. Think about it — what’s better than giving a dog a rub behind the ear and being the receiver of their innocent gratification? They attend our staff meetings and even an occasional client meeting. Everyone seems to love having a dog around — whether you’re a dog owner or not.”
Casey and the two other dogs that keep full-time hours at The Glenn Group are referred to as the company’s professional stress relievers.
“In any work environment, there is going to be stress and deadlines,” said Wright, the company’s director of strategy and planning. “But when you have a dog come in and rest his head on your lap, it provides a moment of peace.”
The American Humane Society is also a strong proponent of dogs in the workplace, citing research that claims animals do indeed help workplace stress.
“We have found that bringing a pet to work brings about a more positive working environment,” said Marie McCabe, DVM and vice president of the American Humane Society’s human-animal bond division. “We believe that it is beneficial for the employees, pets and company morale. American Humane recommends that companies let people bring their pets to work at least once a week — and Take Your Dog To Work Day is a great starting point.”
According to research from the American Pet Products Association, a consumer research company based in Connecticut, about one in five American companies allows pets in the workplace.
However, Casey leaves the number crunching to his master. At home with the two other black Labradors that roam the office, Casey is happy in his work as office stress reliever.
A random scratch behind the ears or a pet as co-workers walk by is not unusual for the office dog.
Having Casey at the office also takes Wright’s mind off of one more at-home concern and leaves him free to better concentrate on his work.
“It relieves some of the worry I have with leaving him at home,” Wright said, adding with a laugh, “He really had become community property when he is here.”
According to a 2006 survey by the American Pet Products Association:
• 55 million Americans believe having pets in the workplace leads to a more creative environment.
• 53 million believe having pets in the workplace decreases absenteeism.
• 50 million believe having pets in the workplace helps co-workers get along better.
• 38 million believe having pets in the workplace
creates a more productive environment.
• 46 million people who bring their pets to the workplace work longer hours.
Source: American Humane Society