The businesses on Inc.’s Best Workplaces Record have some pretty good benefits for their workers. But what about for employees’ furry best friends?
Several 23 workplaces on this year’s record, or about 9 percent, try to triumph over animal-loving prospective hires – and keep critter-owning workers – by supplying pet perks, from pet insurance to discounts on kibble and treats. Many say that a welcoming attitude toward pets helps boosts productivity and morale.
Evren Esen, director of survey plans in the Society for Human Resource Management, claimed that it’s generally not a super common benefit. While reports of dogs roaming millennial-filled offices would be the rage, SHRM’s own survey in 2016 found that just 7% of organizations allow pet-friendly offices. The amount has not increased much in the past five decades, she says.
Nevertheless, the number of companies offering pet insurance as a benefit did jump – from 6% in 2012 to 9 percent in 2016, according to SHRM. That is likely because “it is a lot easier to implement something like [pet insurance], provided that you have the capital after your other business, commercial and warranty insurances, than bringing your pet to perform, Esen had said.
Here are 3 methods that ‘Best Workplace’ companies have taken upon themselves to help their pet owner workers.
- Providing pet insurance
Yes, it is important to provide vision, health, dental and personal indemnity insurance to individuals. However, some organizations are also providing discounted pet insurance plans to their workers. Criteria Corp, a pre-employment testing firm based in West Hollywood, California, offers 20 percent from pet insurance for all workers, who will then take the remaining amount from their checks pre-tax should they desire.
Wpromote, a digital marketing firm headquartered in El Segundo, California, partners with Petplan, a pet insurance carrier, to provide discount codes to its workers.
- Offering discounts on goods
Having a pet can be pricey, with monthly expenses of food, treats and other goods adding up. Some organizations are looking to decrease the load for their workers. Xima Software, a Salt Lake City based management software business that specializes in agile software test management and ICT risk mitigation, not only supplies pet insurance for its workers but also discounts on pet products including toys, food and grooming.
- Creating pet-friendly offices
Another way companies are attracting pet-loving workers is offering the ability to bring said pets to the workplace. Some businesses, like Choozle and Purely Elizabeth, are creating pet-friendly (usually dog-friendly) offices, where workers’ pets are welcome to accompany their individuals to function.
Criteria Corp became dog-friendly two years ago upon moving into their new location, and now enables workers’ dogs to roam about. The business emphasizes their furry visitors with its Instagram account: “Dogs of Criteria.”
But some companies go above and beyond – they not only welcome pets, they create offices intended for pets.
Kurgo’s Salisbury, Massachusetts office was developed to be dog-friendly – ideal for a business that sells dog products. From toys and treats to dog showers to your dog-height water fountain to everyday dog-walking lunches, this business’s office was built with puppies in mind.
Other companies, such as RealSelf, a Seattle based firm that offers cosmetic therapy information, searched for a place that would enable them to be pet-friendly. RealSelf chose a dog-friendly construction that had plenty of outdoor space for workers’ dogs to stretch in. The company also welcomes first-time dog visitors with collars and leashes, and maintains a station full of dog treats.
Having the ability to bring your dog along does have some disadvantages, however. Based on Esen, the SHRM director of survey applications, having pets at work could cause problems among colleagues, particularly if other workers are allergic.
Esen claims that it is linked to business culture. If there’s something within that culture, whether it be flat in a managed software testing services company or hierarchical in a major consulting business, where there is a good deal of pet lovers, there are ways to make it work, there is just an additional step.
Wpromote’s dog-friendly El Segundo headquarters, has made it work by making sure to maintain a section of the workplace dog-free for workers that are allergic or simply don’t want possible distractions. Disruptive dogs have to be kept at home, and all dogs that visit should be vaccinated.
Wpromote’s Human Resources Manager Andrea Lagatta said that overall, they have done their best to ensure all employees are delighted with the program whether they have a dog or not.