Sunday, June 25, 2006

Is Your Company Pet-Friendly?

Dog Probably not to this degree:

On a typical day at Tellme Networks Inc., Jackson snores, Penny spends time learning Chinese and the bosses and workers are delighted.

Penny, a Labrador Retriever, and Jackson, a bulldog, are part of an effort at many U.S. companies to allow pets in the workplace. One survey shows nearly one in five U.S. companies allow pets at work.

Interest in pets at work is growing, say organizers of "Take Your Dog to Work Day," set for this Friday. Several thousand companies are expected to participate, up from a few hundred when the event began eight years ago.

Heather Galler believes in the concept so much that she founded her own company where workers are encouraged to work from home and be with their pets.

Pets build bonds among workers and clients, said Galler, head of, where all 28 employees work remotely from home offices, along with 18 dogs, 13 cats, a parrot and a dozen fish.

A survey by Simply Hired and Dogster, an online site, found a third of dog-owners would take a 5 percent pay cut to take their pets to work, two-thirds would work longer hours and half would switch jobs.

I am a big dog-lover myself, but what about all that additional noise in the workplace, the fact that many employees may have bad allergies, and that productivity is lost when the inevitable knocking on the door to be let out occurs?  Not to mention that there being an "accident" at work will take on a whole new meaning.

I can just see it now: "Bob, we're going to have to let you go. Your sneezing around Goldie the Golden Retriever is just far too disruptive to other employees and their pets."


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