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In the average workplace, employers try to boost morale by offering casual Fridays, sweet performance rewards and even four-day weeks.
Another proven strategy: letting employees bring their pets to the office.
In a 2010 study conducted at Central Michigan University, volunteers were 30 percent less likely to snitch on a co-worker with a dog around, suggesting that a canine’s mere presence improves collaborations and increases productivity.
According to the Christian Science Monitor, 17 percent of employers have already caught on to the idea and allow pets in the workplace. Here are seven of those companies that take being animal-friendly to the next level:
Outdoorsy types swear by CLIF Bar & Company, an organic energy and nutrition snack company known for energy bars made from brown rice, flaxseed and dried fruits. Since the company is heavily focused on environmentalism and spending time outside, it’s not surprising that many staff members have dogs who hike and run with them. Luckily, those pups can join their owners at work, a policy that sprang organically from the company’s culture. (They even negotiated a group vet insurance deal.) On a busy day, there might be as many as 20 dogs running around the 260-person Emeryville, Calif., office, which means lunch breaks are filled with walks to the nearby park and fetch sessions in the auditorium.
It’s truly a jungle at the Amazon offices. At the company’s Seattle hub in South Lake Union alone, there are more than 300 dogs onsite, ranging from Siberian Huskies to Chihuahuas. It's pup heaven at this company, with dog biscuits stocked at reception desks, water fountains in outdoor plaza areas and nearby off-leash dog parks. This policy is nothing new for the company: Images of Amazon's first dog, a Corgi named Rufus, were regularly featured on the website in the early days. And Rufus' legacy lives on — his name is emblazoned across office door handles.
Bissell may be known for vacuums and supplies that help clean up after pets, but it's also seriously committed to animal causes. In October 2011, they founded the Bissell Pet Foundation to promote pet adoption and animal welfare through spay/neuter programs, microchipping and foster care, with the goal of awarding more than $250,000 in grants annually. This love of pets starts at the top: CEO Mark Bissell and his wife, Cathy, are pet parents to three black Labs, and 72 percent of their employees are pet owners. Not only are workers encouraged to bring their furry friends to the office, but the company actually constructed an animal-friendly space called The Bissell Pet Spot, complete with indoor kennels, a bathing station and outdoor play area.
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