Happy Bring Your Pet to Work Day!
Our pets are such a big part of our lives and families, so it's always nice to be able to include them in our work life as well. I know that if she would let me, I'd bring my darling kitty to the office with me everyday.
At least one office that is celebrating this holiday today, and everyday, is pet insurance company Trupanion. The office is 100% animal friendly (employees can brings dogs AND cats) and looks like a fun and comforting environment!
When did your company start to allow pets at work?
We’ve been pet-friendly since the very beginning! We were founded in 1998 and back then it was just our Founder and CEO, Darryl Rawlings, with his dog, Charlie.
How would you describe a typical workday at Trupanion with all of the pets?
It’s constantly moving. You’ll see people walking in and out of the building with their dogs, carrying their cats to meetings, dogs playing together in a cubicle pod, the dog walkers taking dogs out and bringing them back… it’s a great energy in the office that brings a smile to everyone who visits!
Would you say that having your pet at work helps or hinders your work?
Helps! While yes, they do provide a distraction every once in a while, the benefits of having them at work far outweigh the occasional distraction. Not only is it comforting to have your best friend by your side, since we are a pet insurance company, these dogs and cats are a constant reminder of why we do what we do and how much our pets are part of our family. Plus, the dogs force you to get up, move around, and get some fresh air every once in a while – which is a much-needed, but often overlooked energy boost during a busy work day.
What do clients think/say about all of the cute pets being at the office with you?
Since we don’t have clients come visit the office very often, we have the “pets at work” conversation on the phone a lot. It’s funny how often clients don’t believe us when we talk about our environment. So we like to send them photos and links to our website and Facebook page that give them proof. They just love it! And most are pretty jealous.
Do you think more offices should allow pets at work?
Absolutely! It really provides a fun and personal work environment and leads to employee satisfaction and retention. Employees feel less stressed with their pet by their side, have more energy, and get more done. Even our (very few) employees who aren’t pet owners love the environment. They get their dog ‘fix’ without having to commit to a full-time furry family member. With a good pet policy in place, pets in the workplace can only lead to good things.
What’s your favorite thing about having pets at work?
We are a fast-growing company with a lot of irons in the fire. Days can be long and very busy. Having pets here provides a chance to ‘shake it off’ for a few minutes as you watch two dogs play or snuggle with a cat. The pets remind us to take a breath and enjoy the process. It’s hard to describe, but it truly provides an energy that fuels our days. We love it!
Tell us about your company and what it means to you to have a well-designed office space.
Trupanion is all about putting pets first and our office space reflects that idea. In doing this we are able to keep our focus and mission at the forefront of our daily tasks. Having such an accommodating and well-designed office space for this purpose truly plays a major role in maintaining a positive, productive, pet friendly environment and real community of employees who can rally behind our company mission.
If you're lucky enough to work in an office that is pet friendly, you should still take a few things into consideration before bringing your furry friend to work.
1. Be mindful of your pet's demeanor
If you have an animal that likes to bark, isn't friendly around strange people or animals, or needs a lot of attention and care, the office might not be the best place for them. It's comforting to have your companion with you at work, but it can be distracting for you and your co-workers if your animal is noisy or constantly needs to be pet or played with. It can also be dangerous if you have a pet that gets nervous around unfamiliar animals or other pets and it could make everyone a little uncomfortable.
2. Make sure they can handle long stretches
Most dogs are ok with going a few hours between potty breaks, expect for puppies. Puppies generally want to go to the bathroom whenever they want, not when you want them to. Bringing a puppy or any non-housebroken pet into the office could not only lead to messes, but having to take them out every hour takes away from your own work.
3. It should be something your pet would like, too
If your beloved pet is more content to curl up in their favorite spot on the couch or bound around the backyard all day, they probably aren't going to like your office. If your pet is fine with daily car rides and being tethered or confined most of the day while you work, that's awesome. But some pets would loathe this. It's too bad you can't ask their opinion, but you should still be able to gauge whether or not they'd like going to work with you.
Did you take your pet to work with you today? Leave a comment below and make sure to tweet us a photo! #petsatwork