Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, February 6, 2006

Pooch privileges now a job perk

Gannett News Service

Marlene O'Brien shares her work space at a travel agency in the Colorado Springs, Colo., area with her dog, Butterscotch.


spacer spacer

One way to entice workers can be to become a dog-friendly company. Allowing workers to bring their dogs to work can be a strong competitive hiring advantage among dog lovers, suggests a survey conducted by Simply Hired, a job search engine, and Dogster.com.

If allowed to bring their dog to work, 66 percent of dog owners who participated in the survey said they would work longer hours. Fifty-five percent said they'd commute a greater distance, 32 percent would take a 5 percent salary reduction and 11 percent would take a 10 percent salary reduction.

Dogs help lower stress levels and build camaraderie among workers, they say. "I'd rather have a 10-minute doggie 'potty break' than a 10-minute smoking break any day," said one respondent.

"Companies with dog-friendly policies just get it," said Ted Rheingold, CEO of Dogster. "They're breeding a class of happy and loyal employees."

It's also an incentive to switch jobs with 49 percent of respondents saying they would take a new job if the hiring company allowed them to bring their dog to work.

Among those on the list that allow dogs are larger companies such as Apple Computer Inc., Amazon and Google. But those with 50 employees or less make up the majority, with California having the most dog-friendly companies.

Of course, companies need to think about potential problems such as allergies or the fact that some workers are afraid of dogs. Rules would need to be established, said Paul Calico, attorney with Strauss & Troy, making, for example, food service areas off-limits.

You'd also need to think about cleanup, use of leashes and excluding dogs from some areas.

" 'The dog ate (or soiled) your contract' would not be well received by a client," he said.

Consider this: 44 million households in the United States have a dog. And if you do the hiring in this dog-eat-dog world of finding loyal workers, allowing a person's best friend to accompany them to work might just be one doggone good solution.