Hired! Otis, Chair Tester

Otis is new to Buffalo Office Interiors, but he already considers himself top dog!  Mind you, Otis is my 4 year old Yorkshire terrier. At his first day on the job, Otis strut’s his stuff through the open work area, catching the attention of our design team before heading out to take a run of the showroom. He will spend the afternoon settled on his blanket atop my work surface, with his favorite toys close by. This is a perfect spot from which Otis can supervise.

With so many studies proving the positive benefits of bringing your furry friends to work, we decided to give it a try. I have to admit, I wasn’t sure if everyone would appreciate the new addition, but Otis brings a positive energy to the office and it is clear that the whole team is taken with him. Who could resist such a cute face? Employees stop by to say hello throughout the day, trading stories about their own pets. It builds camaraderie and it definitely makes for a better day at the office.

From corporate campuses to the halls of Congress, an ever-growing number of establishments have adopted year-round “pets welcome” policies. According to the U.S. Humane Society, there are approximately 65 million dogs in 39 percent of U.S. households. Our staff of approximately 20 employees has a combined total of 19 fur-babies at home. With such a high number of furry friends in our homes, it’s hardly surprising that taking our dogs to work has become a growing trend.

At a time when there is an increased emphasis on balancing work-life issues, establishing a pet-friendly policy is one way for employers to help employees maintain a healthy work-life balance. Small to medium-sized businesses, particularly technology firms and creative agencies have been the most receptive to allowing dogs & cats at work.

Dog-friendly workplace policies can improve staff moral and camaraderie and encourage employees to work longer hours (since they don’t have to rush home to let their dogs out at the end of the day). Also, a company with a dog-friendly policy will be more attractive to a dog lover. Surveys indicate that having pets in the workplace offers a number of benefits, such as: creating a more productive work environment, lowering stress and anxiety, improving overall emotional and physical health, decreasing employee absenteeism, and making employees more willing to work overtime. That smiling face you come home to is now sitting right next to you, ready for some attention during your afternoon break!

This pet-friendly policy isn’t new. Capitol Hill has been going to the dogs for decades. Charlie Martel, counsel to the Senate Homeland Security Committee, says canines are the norm in both the Senate and the House. Martel, 50, often brings Shantih to work, noting the bipartisan husky will wander into any meeting, Democratic or Republican, as long as the room has a good view of the Hart Senate Office Building’s sky-lit atrium and five-story Alexander Calder mobile.

If such a policy is well suited for your company, this is one way to make your employees happy and perhaps more productive at no additional cost. Take a realistic look at your work environment and do your research, if you think a pet-friendly policy is a good fit, implement a policy that keeps the health, safety , and happiness of your employees and their furry friends in mind.


Furry Facts

 — Linda Davidson /The Washington Post

  • Almost one in five companies (17 percent) in the United States allows pets in the workplace.
  • 75 million Americans believe having pets in the workplace makes people happier.
  • 41 million Americans believe having pets in the workplace helps co-workers get along better.
  • The last Friday in June is Take Your Dog to Work Day.