I am so jealous of people that can bring their dogs to work. The sad face my dog gives me on my way out the door to work pretty much makes me want to quit my job and stay home with him every time.
There are so many benefits to having dogs at work – stress relief, team bonding, allowing employees to have more flexibility and, of course, cute dogs to look at all day! It sounds pretty great to me, and I know Hunter (maybe not Roscoe) would love to go to work with me.
Recently, I posted on Facebook asking what offices around Cleveland are dog friendly and got a few responses back. In order to spread the word about the benefits of the dog-friendly office, I am starting a new feature – the Dog-Friendly Office Spotlight. First up – Embrace Pet Insurance. Embrace is located on the east side and has been pet-friendly since the company opened, allowing employees to bring in dogs, cats or any other household pet. I sent some questions to Lead Content Strategist, Sara Radak, to get an idea of how their pet policy works and what some of the best things are about having pets in the office.
Read on to learn more about the dog-friendly culture at Embrace.
What pets have you had in the Embrace office?
Any household pet is welcome to visit. We’ve had cats, rabbits, bearded dragons, hamsters, and more. We have a small conference room that is the home to foster cats (currently from the Parma Animal Shelter, although we’ve worked with Berea ARF as well).
Why did Embrace decide to allow pets in the office?
Embrace is a company that’s founded on the importance of the animal-human bond. We share our lives with our pets and, at Embrace, that includes our work lives.
Are there any rules for bringing pets to work? Can employees do it whenever they want or only on certain days?
We have guidelines in our employee handbook. Each department has a fence around it and dogs must stay within the fence unless they are with their pet parent. They must be up to date on vaccines and healthy. Employees are encouraged to check in with others in their department before bringing their dog as not every pup enjoys company.
Dogs are welcome any day of the week. About once a month, we’ll have a cat-only day when felines rule the roost.
Has there ever been issues among the dogs?
There has been the occasional skirmish between dogs when personalities didn’t mix or play turned into something one dog isn’t comfortable with. Staff members are generally aware of their dog’s trigger points and work to avoid them. Thankfully, we’ve never had any major injuries and we continue to refine our policies and safety precautions to keep it that way.
What advice would you have for a company considering being pet-friendly?
I actually was just quoted in an article about that very topic. I think there’s some great advice in the article (and not just mine!): http://www.cio.com/article/3000115/staff-management/14-rules-for-creating-a-bring-your-dog-to-work-policy.html
Do you have any play areas or activities for the dogs?
Besides the fenced-in department areas, we don’t have specific areas for dogs to play. We do have a large open area at one end of our office that has many uses, including a great place for fetch.
Do you have any funny stories of something a pet did in the office?
We do yoga in the office and sometimes the pets like to join in – show their downward dog, climb up on those practicing, etc.
What is the biggest benefit of a pet-friendly office?
I’d say the biggest benefit of having pets at work is the excuse to get up from your desk and take a short break – whether it’s to play, take them for a walk, or just outside to do their business. We all need to get away from our work occasionally – I think it allows us to be more productive when we get back to work.
Do you work at a pet-friendly office? I’d love to hear about it! Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos courtesy of Embrace Pet Insurance