Kurgo, a Massachusetts-based startup that makes dog travel gear and accessories, has recently gone viral thanks to its innovative dog-friendly company policies. Every Kurgo employee is allowed to bring their dog to work, and the workplace is specifically designed to accommodate their 4-legged friends. The offices have numerous dog-friendly amenities including a low water fountain, fake grass, indoor play areas, toy baskets, easy-clean floors, chairs at dog-petting height, a dog-biscuit-stocked kitchen and even a dog slide. Employees can walk their dogs at lunch time, and no one has to worry about their pet being left alone at home. Kurgo co-founder Kitter Spater has noticed great benefits from making his office space dog-friendly, and he hopes the practice will catch on – check out Spater’s hashtag #dogsallowed on Instagram to see other businesses that are opening their doors to canine friends.
Why Should You Consider Making Your Workplace Furry-Friendly?
Because studies show that employees who are allowed to bring their pets to work experience lower stress levels, higher levels of job satisfaction, increased productivity, higher morale and increased co-worker cooperation. According to Spater, “the office dogs help us to be more collaborative and focused… But probably the most important benefit of being a dog-friendly office is the levity and humour they bring. It’s hard to be stressed or take things too seriously with dogs running around and snoring under your desk.” Other pet-friendly companies out there include Google (their Sydney office has a resident pet parrot!), Ben & Jerry’s, Amazon and Klutz.
Some Things to Consider Before You Open Your Doors to the Wider Animal Community
Before you jump on the #dogsallowed (or the more general #petsallowed) bandwagon, it is important that you lay down the ground rules and prepare your workplace in advance. Before letting pets into your workplace, you need to:
- Chat to your employees and see how they feel about having pets wandering around the office!
- Make sure that you have a ‘pet-free’ zone for employees who are allergic to, or uncomfortable around, pets
- Define acceptable and unacceptable pet behaviour
- Define which pets are allowed
- Provide basic pet necessities including water, snacks and waste solutions (i.e. self-cleaning litter boxes)
- Make sure that you abide by any legal regulations that apply to your state or country
If you have a soft spot for pets and would like to see you employees performing at their best, making the #dogsallowed transition might be worth it!