I’m incredibly fortunate that I get to share my office space every day with my cats Seren-Kitty, Karma-Kat and Magical-dog every day all year long. When I’m having a particularly hectic day, getting a purr fix, or doggy wag of encouragement does wonders. Surveys indicate that one in five companies allow pets in the workplace. People who bring their pets actually work longer hours! You can get started on this pet-revolution this Friday.
2016 marks the 18th annual celebration of Take Your Dog To Work Day and event creator Pet Sitters International reflects on the growth of pet-friendly policies and encourages companies to “make it their business” to help pets in need on June 24.
TAKE YOUR DOG TO WORK DAY!
Pet Sitter’s International’s Take Your Dog To Work Day® (TYDTWDay) was first celebrated in 1999, and created to spotlight what terrific companions dogs are, and encourage adoptions. The annual event encourages employers to experience the benefits and value of pets in the workplace, and to support and celebrate the pet community. Pet Sitters, animal shelters, and business of all kinds join in this fur-tastic Friday event.
A 2015 Society for Human Resource Management survey found that 8 percent of American workplaces allow employees to bring pets (up from 5 percent in 2013). Actually, on Friday, I’ll be at a pet-friendly conference, Cat Writers Conference and BlogPaws, where the hotel has made accommodation so that the writers can bring their dogs, cats, ferrets, rats, pigs, you-name-it, to WORK with them at the event. Those of you on Twitter can follow the fun events by watching #catwriters and #blogpaws hashtags.
WHY PETS AT WORK?
PSI offers a number of reasons why it’s a good idea to “go to the dogs” this Friday. TYDTWDay offers a positive, unique opportunity to increase community involvement and establish new community ties. Businesses can partner with a local animal shelter, rescue group or humane organization to host a special event.
The free event toolkit offered by PSI provides step-by-step instructions for planning an event, a sample “dogs at work” policy and customizable forms that companies can use for their events. The toolkit also includes tips about partnering with local pet-rescue organizations and working with local professional pet sitters to assist with the day’s activities.
DOGS IMPROVE PRODUCTIVITY–I AIN’T A-WOOFIN’ YA!
Studies have shown that dogs in the workplace increase productivity and creativity, decrease absenteeism and improve co-worker relationships. Participation in TYDTWDay is a fun, low-cost “pet perk” to offer employees at a time when some businesses are forced to cut jobs and decrease benefits.
TYDTWDay is for a good cause—to promote pet adoption. This fun day of celebrating the great companion your dog makes could encourage co-workers to adopt a new best friend of their own. Besides, pet lovers love to show off their dogs!
Even if you can’t have dogs in the workplace, consider alternate celebrations such as having employees bring photos of their pets. How about asking your company to host a fundraiser for an animal shelter in your community? Think about hosting contests, such as best pet outfit or owner/pet look-alikes (for pictures) or best trick (if dogs get to attend). Maybe a hot dog luncheon or a Pet First Aid “Lunch and Learn” session would be appropriate.
Ask a local shelter or rescue organization to join your event. Invite them to bring adoptable pets or information to your workplace. Maybe you could hold a silent auction or other fund raiser to benefit the shelter—or set up a “Good Samaritan” fund for people unable to afford emergency pet care during these times of financial challenge.
TYDTWDay is the perfect opportunity to educate employees about all things pets. Maybe a local veterinarian, PSI member or other pet professional could present a pet care session or offer dog-walking service during the event. Visit PSI to find a member in your area.
If you’re fortunate to be able to bring pets on Friday, be sure to handle the pet situation responsibly. Dogs should be kept on a leash, or otherwise confined in the employee’s office or area. Baby gates work well to cordon areas to keep pets confined. You can also designate “pet free zones” such as the lunch room or bathrooms.
For more tips how to convince your boss, set up a program, and celebration ideas, visit TakeYourDog.com. Now excuse me…I’ve got to go consult with my furry office mates.
I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!