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  • Writer's pictureEdwin and George

The Ultimate Answer to Attracting and Retaining Staff?

EGM On A Mission: Let’s Build Better Companies

Millions of people around the world quitting their jobs or planning to make a move.

US job figures released on 5 November show a record 3 million unfilled job vacancies. (1)

Australia next – now.

‘40 per cent of Australians considering a change of scenery. Looking for new jobs, new careers, retraining, starting a small business or downsizing their lives. (2)

So, what should companies do?

Last week the ‘Guardian Australia’ published an article - ‘the great resignation is here! Seven things bosses should do to keep brilliant staff.’

Some of the ideas include:

  • ‘The basics’ - a good wage, safe work environments, reasonable hours.

  • Flexibility – hybrid work, job sharing, part-time hours, flexible start times.

  • Human connection – coordinated time in the office with colleagues.

  • An ‘always on recruitment type approach – treating all staff as if they’re new recruits. (3)

All good points.

But it was the final idea that got our attention:


Yes, pets.

Well, dogs in particular.

Bring your dog to work – one of this year’s hottest workplace perks – with 20 per cent of US (and Australian) employers now offering the perk to staff. (4)

Dog ownership has soared during the pandemic and a recent survey (‘the best dog friendly companies of 2021’) reveals that, after spending so much time with their dogs when working from home, 77 per cent of American dog owners place a higher level of importance on working for a dog-friendly company than before the crisis. (5)

‘Primarily driven by millennials, many companies are allowing dogs in their offices.

Large organizations, such as Google, Amazon, Etsy, and Ben and Jerry’s, have even used their dog-friendly policies as a recruiting tactic. And now, smaller companies are following suit.’ (6)

So who is the leader of the pack?

Amazon—a company that’s faced plenty of criticism over its treatment of human employees—is number one when it comes to white-collar workers’ dogs.

An incredible 7,000 dogs registered to accompany their owners to work at its Seattle HQ – with an average of 800 dogs on site each work day.

Early morning at the first floor reception:

Dogs arriving by escalators, lifts or walking the stairs – checking in to the office - enjoying the wide selection of doggie snacks available from the reception team.

On site amenities include doggie towel rooms, pooch parking and a whole floor consisting of an outdoor doggie park. (7)

‘Amazon has been dog-friendly since day one,’ says Jennifer Skipper, Amazon’s Woof Pack manager (how about that for a dream job?). ‘Our dogs are a special part of Amazon’s culture, and a mechanism for connection. We’ve found that dogs in the office actually contribute to our collaborative company culture.’ (8)

It’s clear dogs have more to offer when it comes to office life than games of ‘fetch,’ ‘walkies’ and cute photos.

  • Research finds that dogs not only raise the mood of their owners in the office – but the people around them. (9)

  • Also, that bringing dogs to wok increases employee engagement , lowers turnover, enhances social cohesion, communication and team work. (10)

Another survey finds that, of people presently working from home who expect to return to the office:

More than 70 per cent expect to miss their pet when they return to the workplace - compared with only 42% who will miss their spouse and 39% who will miss their children. (11)


And what about those dogs facing the prospect of being ‘home alone’ when their owners return to work – after many months of being together?

According to Dog TV (a new Sky service launching in the UK on 8 November), one out of six dogs suffers from separation anxiety.

Symptoms that appear when owners are away range from excessive barking, refusing to eat, trying to escape and destructive behaviour.

‘Created after three years of research, the channel will air scientifically tested programmes aimed at alleviating a dogs symptoms brought about by separation anxiety, loneliness and stress.’ (12)

How can anyone bring their whole self to work when they’re worried about the mental health of their dog?

Allowing people to bring dogs to the office can, of course, be complicated, especially for a small business, and the companies that do allow this practice have pretty strict policies.

These include making employees verify that their pet is adequately trained and providing evidence that the pet is insured, clean and vaccinated. Companies will be well advised to take suitable advice.

It sounds like a lot of hassle.

But people love their dogs - and allowing employees to bring their pet to work could be a way to entice workers out of their homes and back to the office.

Offering pet insurance is another important benefit to consider – 69 per cent of companies surveyed by the HR firm Willis Towers Watson said they plan to offer pet insurance, a 22 per cent increase from last year. (13)

P.S. Any company requiring a Wolf Pack Manager should send over the relevant job description.

P.P.S Who says there isn’t a revolution happening at work?

P.P.P.S We did our very best in this blog to avoid ‘doggie puns’ – like ‘bringing your dog to work could help you get through your canine to five routine with far less ruff days.’

P.P.P.P.S The above isn't true.

  1. Here’s where the jobs are,, 6th November 2021

  2. Thousands of Australians to quit their jobs, Daily Mail, 20 October 2021

  3. The great resignation is here! Seven things bosses should do to make brilliant staff, The Guardian, 4 November 2021

  4. Want a happy workplace? Add dogs, VOA News, YouTube and also see ‘puppies at work? Wishful thinking or the future of office life? Sydney Morning Herald, 11 June 2021

  5. The best dog-friendly companies of 2021, The dog people, June 2021

  6. Want employees to return to the office? Let them bring their pandemic pets along, The Guardian, 17 October 2021

  7. 7000 dogs are signed up to work with their owners, YouTube

  8. The best dog-friendly companies of 2021, The dog people, June 2021

  9. See, All the Presidents pooches, Smithsonian Review, June 1997

  10. How Biden’s dogs can make the Oval Office a workplace with less stress and better decision-making, The Conversation, 26 January 2021

  11. Want employees to return to the office? Let them bring their pandemic pets along, The Guardian, 17 October 2021

  12. Dogs TV channel: Dog TV set to launch to help with stress and behavioural problems, Sky News, 4 November 2021

  13. Want employees to return to the office? Let them bring their pandemic pets along, The Guardian, 17 October 2021

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