The employment landscape has undergone some serious changes in the last few years. One of the biggest influencers of this has been the Great Resignation. As workers have separated from businesses en masse due to unfair and unpleasant working conditions. This means not only are companies keen to fill labor shortages but also to make meaningful changes. If you’re currently looking for a new job, this means you can be more selective about finding an employer that meets your needs.
One of these needs may be to have a workplace that you’re able to bring your dog into. There could be a range of reasons you’re prioritizing this. Your dog may serve as a support animal in some capacity. They may experience separation anxiety when you’re at work. It might simply be the case that you know your dog can bring an extra level of positivity into the working environment.
So, how can you find the best dog-friendly workplaces? Let’s explore some of the key considerations.
Look at Supportive Corporations
One of your first points of focus can be researching the major corporations with dog-friendly policies. Indeed, you’ll often find businesses developed over the last couple of decades are particularly positive in this regard. This is because they tend to have an appreciation for non-traditional approaches to work that result in greater employee satisfaction and productivity.
Some good examples of dog-friendly corporations include Uber, Amazon, and Airbnb. It’s worth noting this doesn’t mean Uber is fine with drivers bringing their pets along or that Amazon’s picking crew can necessarily have their dogs along with them on the warehouse floor. In many cases, large businesses restrict their pet-friendly policies to their head offices or main corporate satellite hubs. Essentially, if you’re working in an office environment that can guarantee relative levels of safety around pets, you’re often more likely to find dog-positive policies.
Another target for your research here should be corporations in the pet industry. This includes the head offices of major pet retailers and food manufacturers. Look into businesses that offer pet-related services, like insurance providers and transport operators. It may seem obvious, but large businesses with a focus on animals can be the most open to you bringing your dog to work. Indeed, some will offer discounts on their products, on-site care facilities, and complimentary doggy snacks.
Review the Company Culture
Another key area of focus in your search must be the company culture. While some businesses may state they allow dogs on the premises, this doesn’t necessarily mean their culture is designed to support animals. It may be the case that the corporate culture is geared toward a bustling atmosphere generating a great deal of noise. This may not be suitable for all dogs. Indeed, the opposite may be true in that there is also a focus on calm and quiet in which there aren’t easy opportunities to keep your dog enriched and entertained throughout the day.
So, look carefully at what other elements of company culture can indicate support systems for your dog. Note if there is an adherence to flexible working practices. This could suggest there may be various areas you can take your dog to explore while you’re working. Also, take stock of whether or not the company is committed to building a positive and inclusive space. If this is the case, it may mean management is more open to making any additional accommodations you and your dog may need.
In some instances, the company will include content about these cultural elements on its website. However, the best way to learn about this in an honest way is to speak to current employees. Speak to family and friends to find a connection to an employee and take some time to learn about their experience with both dogs in the company and general levels of support. Alternatively, looking at employer review websites may give you some insights.
Consider the Environment
A workplace isn’t necessarily dog-friendly because it’s open to employees bringing their pets onto the premises. The company leadership must also have put focus and investment into making certain the environment is well-suited for dogs to spend the entire day in. This should include the basics such as toilet facilities and spaces to prepare and eat food. There should also be quiet areas dogs can go to sleep without being disturbed.
One of the most important points you need to research here is whether the working environment is a safe zone for your dog. Check for pieces of furniture that aren’t secured to the walls and may represent falling hazards. Take note if there are chemicals or other potentially hazardous materials present, including those used by cleaners. In many instances, you won’t be able to research this in advance. As such, it’s important to make a review checklist and ask for a tour of the working areas if you’re invited to an interview.
You should also pay close attention to the outdoor areas. A business in a rural environment might seem like a great space for your dog to exercise. However, this may leave them exposed. Protect your pet from fleas, ticks, and other pests and the diseases they transmit, like Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. This could lead to the need to get your dog treated and even decontaminate your home. It’s often best to search out businesses that provide well-maintained, dedicated spaces for dogs to play and relieve themselves. This investment tends to be a sign of the best dog-friendly workplaces.
Prepare To State Your Case
You may find there isn’t a dog-friendly workplace in your vicinity. Alternatively, you might already be at a job you love but would be happier if dogs were welcome. In either case, it could fall to you to persuade your current or potential employer that dog-friendliness is the way forward.
While you’re firmly in favor of dog-friendly workplaces, it’s important to consider the various potential pros and cons of bringing a dog to work. On the positive side, a pro-dog environment can attract top talent to the business, lower stress levels, and be used in marketing campaigns. On the downside, it also runs the risk of untrained animals causing chaos in a business and exposing workers with allergies to poor health conditions.
Take the time to create a presentation that leans into the good aspects. Wherever possible, include citations to scientific studies on the positive impact of pets on employees. Don’t ignore the cons, though. Be sure to prepare suggestions for addressing the challenges dogs present to businesses and other employees.
Finding the best dog-friendly workplace requires some focused research in a range of areas. Look at corporations that include pro-pet attitudes as part of their operations and review how this is reflected by a potential employer’s overall culture. Explore the working environment for how suitable it is for dogs in terms of safety and comfort. In some cases, you may have to present a strong case for dog inclusivity. However, it’s worth taking the time to discover career opportunities that are supportive of you and your dog.
photo credit: Image Source: Pexels
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