Ask ten random people what an average office is like, and you’d probably get the same few answers. There are desks, chairs, and computers with a screen or two per employee, depending on how techy the place is. There’s a selection of spoons and coffee cups, some washed, and some bear a striking likeness to a petri dish. There’s the quintessential water cooler and coffee maker, and at times, actual work does take place. But what about a drooling, noisy, fur-shedding house pet? How common is sharing an office with one of those, and is it actually a good idea?
Speaking from my own experience, having some necessary ‘doggie time’ can really take the edge off a stressful day, when the deadlines seem impossible and nothing works out the way that it should. A dog, or any office-trained pet for that matter (even a well-behaved chinchilla could do), will gladly be the butt of a much needed joke in exchange for a treat or two. They’re always up to something silly that would make you laugh right when you, and an equally stressed colleague, need it most.
Think of that one person at work who you know absolutely nothing about. Too long had passed since being formally introduced and striking up a conversation would just be too awkward for both parties. Now insert a big four-legged goofball into the scene, playing catch with one while begging for treats from the other. Trust a dog to diffuse any awkward situation by being twenty times more awkward than you could ever be, and suddenly, you and said unknown coworker have something to talk about.
And it’s not just the day to day interaction with colleagues. A pet-friendly environment often means a people-friendly environment, too, and that can’t be bad for business. Plenty of companies take pride in their canine culture – just ask Amazon, Salesforce, and Ben & Jerry’s, and of course, Novelty Media, to name just a few.
Granted, not all people are dog lovers, or pet lovers in general for that matter. Some might be allergic, while some simply dread the occasional barking and fur. That’s why before even considering bringing a pet to a shared office, guidelines must be set, and reaffirmed every time a new employee comes along. But if everyone is on board, many would agree that the pros simply outweigh the cons.
Just ask Annie and Ciro, our lovely office dogs. Bids and eCPMs may come and go, but their adorableness is the one constant in our business.
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