Pets at Work

Making belly rubs a part of break time is the newest way for any employer to boost morale and increase productivity on the job.

Photo by alkir/iStock

It’s the ultimate “Spot” bonus. And although only 8% of companies (including Amazon, Ticketmaster and Build-A-Bear Workshop) allow pets in the workplace, that number has doubled in just the past three years. Even if you don’t own a cat or dog, cuddling with one can still replace coffee breaks. Shelters across the country, such as and , offer of adoptable cats and dogs to local companies. That’s a nice little perk for those of us who aren’t lucky enough to work at Ben & Jerry’s Vermont offices, where a special set of employees—a dog pack named the —spend time with employees throughout the day. All the furry benefits—just your regular day’s work required.

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→ Talk to Your Colleagues: Be cognizant of your coworkers’ limitations and needs—from fear of animals to allergies—and come up with workarounds where possible.

→ Give Them Space: Set up a bed or crate to define a territory that your pet can feel comfortable in.

→ Don’t Let Them Roam Unleashed: Leash or enclose your furry friend whenever they’re not in your work space.

→ Keep Them Occupied: Bring toys and make sure animals get plenty of exercise, both before showing up and throughout the day.

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→ Puppy Parental Leave: Companies like grant one week off for new furry additions.

→ Pet Insurance: 36% of U.S. employers (including ) offer the benefit.

→ Personal Time Off: Pet sitting company allows three paid days of pet bereavement leave.

Pet-ition Your Company: If you’d like to have your furry friend tag along, ask your employer about implementing a pet in the workplace policy. Find a toolkit with advice and tips at .

First appeared in our November 2017 edition.