Love them or hate them, pet-friendly offices are becoming much less of a fringe idea. Major companies including VMWare, Salesforce, Google, Atlantic Health, Mars (the candy company), Blizzard, and GoDaddy all allow pets at work.
None of those, obviously, are pet product companies – but those companies often are set up specifically for pets. Today, let’s take a look at what a pet-friendly office looks like, especially when it’s taken to the extreme.
In virtually all of the photos of these companies, we see access controls in place to keep animals where they’re intended to be. That can take the form of gated individual cubicles (so that employees can focus and shut a pet in or out temporarily), or large spaces that are designated pet areas (which include work stations), but clear access controls are the most obvious way the hyper-pet-friendly office distinguishes itself from a typical workspace.
Natural colors and textures
They aren’t necessary for a pet-friendly office, of course, but natural colors and textures are prominent in several offices which are pet friendly – and it’s certainly purposeful. Here’s a photo from Kurgo (an outdoor company specializing in dog products), showcasing this sort of look and feel:
Here’s a full write-up on Kurgo, calling it “the most friendly dog office we’ve ever seen.” This office goes to extremes in terms of access controls, and many of their spaces are actually built from repurposed shipping containers with added windows.
Dog-friendly kitchen areas
Dogs, in particular, have foodstuff that takes up significant space, so that’s a huge consideration for many of these companies that have what amount to live-in dogs.
It probably goes without saying that most of the companies on the list above use flooring that resists smells and stains (concrete, mostly, or industrial-looking textured rubber in both pet and human food-preparation areas). So that’s all we’ll say about that!
A company culture that emphasizes team member comfort
Virtually all of the companies which allow pets at work, when talking about it in news releases and articles, immediately note that they’ve made accommodations for people with allergies. Many of these companies operate in an especially competitive environment for attracting tech talent, so their pet-friendly policies are in place at least partially to improve their overall offering for potential employees. That can extend even to pet health insurance and the like.
Many of these companies also have employees who wish to bring pets sign “good citizen” agreements in advance providing companies with the ability to remove problem animals from shared spaces to keep other employees happy.