News for HR Professionals


Paws in the Office: Get Ready for Take Your Dog to Work Day®

For a lot of employees, spending the work day with their canine best friend by their side sounds like a dream—and on Take Your Dog to Work Day®, that dream can come true. First celebrated in 1999, Take Your Dog to Work Day will mark its 19th annual event on Friday, June 23, 2017. If you're on the fence about whether your company should participate, here are a few things to consider.

Distraction or performance driver?

Dogs in the office may seem like a recipe for decreased productivity. But in fact, more companies are welcoming pets of all kinds into the workplace, not only on a designated day, but all year long. Why? For starters, employees love it: According to a recent survey, 91 percent of employees in workplaces that allow pets say it improves morale, increases loyalty to the company and enhances work-life balance; 95 percent say it’s beneficial for work relationships; and 92 percent report reduced stress.

If anecdotal evidence isn't enough to convince the higher-ups in your organization, science backs these claims up as well. In a study published in the Human-Animal Interaction Bulletin, people who had recently played with a dog were 24 percent more trusting than those who had not. Greater levels of trust can facilitate teamwork and smooth out employee relations, ultimately leading to a higher-performing, more productive workplace for everyone.

Give your popularity a boost

While it may seem like an unusual practice, inviting pets into the office can have a positive effect on your company’s image. According to the Humane Society of the United States, being able to bring dogs to work is an attractive benefit to potential employees. As such, it’s offered not only by high-profile companies like Google and Amazon, but also by organizations like Replacements, Ltd., a North Carolina-based retailer whose employees consistently rank it as their favorite workplace benefit.

Also bolstering this idea is a recent survey that revealed 74 percent of HR DMs discuss their pet-friendly workplace policies when recruiting, while 65 percent of job candidates ask about such policies. The same survey showed that 53 percent of employees in non-pet-friendly workplaces would be more likely to stay with their companies if they could bring pets into the office. It's a benefit that costs your company little or nothing, but addresses workers' desire for greater work-life balance.

Preparation is everything

Still not sure if Take Your Dog to Work Day is right for your company? It may just be first-time jitters. According to Beth Stultz, marketing director for Pet Sitters International and national spokesperson for Take Your Dog to Work Day, "We find that companies participating for the first time are often nervous about opening their doors to dogs or other pets. But once they celebrate the first year and see how successful the day can be when following a few common-sense rules, they are eager to participate year after year."

If you're ready to get started, Nationwide® is here to protect your employees' pets and make the day a success. Here are a few key actions to take:

  • Download this customizable flier to let employees know that you're hosting a Take Your Dog to Work Day event.
  • Share our infographic to help them learn the dos and don’ts of office petiquette in advance.
  • Take advantage of the event to remind them about their pet insurance voluntary benefit.

With these tools and a little planning, you can create a fun, safe experience that your employees and their pets will remember all year long.