Furry, Four-legged Creatures at Work. Really?

 By Chris Francart 

Furry, Four-legged Creatures at Work. Really?

VisionPoint Marketing has been nominated for the Triangle Business Journal's Best Places to Work Award. During this week’s staff meeting, team members were asked to take a survey to provide their honest feedback.  An open brainstorm session began and employees began sharing their thoughts on why VisionPoint Point Marketing is worthy of the award.  Of course the expected ones surfaced … birthday celebrations, flex time, company paid health insurance, 401k and good leadership. But then  the more unique ones came to the forefront …   relaxed dress code, monthly and off-site team building activities, regular lunch and learns presented by all team members on a rotating basis, a 360 degree performance evaluation, monthly MVP recognition and rewards, and a dog friendly workplace, to name a few. 

I must admit these are all fabulous but the last one absolutely thrills me.  Partly, because I’ve never thought about this subject. Partly, because I’m a first-time dog owner. Why not take my dog to work? I mean, I’ve taken my daughter to work plenty of times throughout my career.  Still sounds a bit crazy at first, but hey, I’m trying it on.  Bella, my 3-year-old Golden Retriever, has visited VisionPoint twice and loved every minute. Today, she even had the luxury of playing with Sloan, another of our frequent visitors of the canine variety. 

Inquisitive I am, so I pursued a little research on the subject. Come to find out, taking a dog to work is not that uncommon.The American Pet Products Manufacturers Association reports that nearly one in five companies in the United States allows pets in the workplace. Who knew? There’s even an official annual Take Your Dog to Work Day, the 13th of which occurred last month on June 24.  

For the skeptics, surveys and psychologists suggest there are many benefits to support the concept.  A Psychology Today article mentions increased staff morale and higher productivity.The American Pet Products Association  (APPA) reports that 55 million Americans believe having pets in the workplace leads to a more creative environment; 53 million believe it decreases absenteeism; and 50 million believe it helps co-workers get along better. Studies also show pets offer health benefits, including reducing stress levels and lowering blood pressure.

Pet owners agree the unique bond shared with these canine companions is one that enriches their lives, physical health and emotional well-being. For me, the ability to bring Bella to work or enjoy my colleague’s dogs is a new benefit, one I will embrace and one for which I’m grateful.



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