In Canada, dogs invite themselves to their master’s office

Posted on Monday 09 May 2022 at 08:49

Standing on all fours, daisy wagging her tail as visitors arrive, she oversees the team’s well-being at the Tungsten Collaborative. The dog, like many other pets, has the right to come to the office with her master, who has been working from home during the epidemic.

A 12-year-old blond-haired Labrador sniffs the workplace in search of something to eat or play with.

Next to her, Delilah – a hound with long, drooping ears – approaches, and it seems she, too, wants some attention.

At this Canadian design firm, which has dozens of employees in Ottawa, other dogs, such as Eevee the English greyhound and Hudson, a German Shepherd puppy, bark to be noticed.

Daisy is an “inseparable part” of the business. On the company’s website, she poses among team members and even has the right to a short resume.

The company wrote that “many of Dave’s greatest innovations (McMullen, VP of Design, editor’s note) originated while hiking alongside Daisy,” adding that the dog has “nine years of experience supporting top designers.”

– resumption of activity –

“We encourage people who have pets to bring them” into the office, Bill Dickey, president of the Tungsten Cooperative, told AFP.

“You develop this relationship with your pet at home and all of a sudden they are back at work, and they have to be stocked up for the day or just walking around the house on their own,” the 47-year-old therapist laments, who feels that this is “not fair” to the animal.

According to him, the pandemic has made companies more tolerant of pets at work.

In the office kitchen, bowls arranged in a row on the floor are used to water dogs during the day. The latter sometimes sleeps at the bottom of chairs, chews toys, or runs toward a bouncing ball in the hallway.

Dick said adding the Tungsten Collaborative to the Humane Society’s list of dog-friendly businesses has boosted business activity and increased employee productivity.

According to a recent Léger poll for PetSafe, one in two Canadians (51%) support the idea of ​​bringing their dog into the office.

This suggestion is especially appreciated by the youngest: 18% of employees between the ages of 18 and 24 say they would change the company if the employer refused them this option.

Faced with the nearly 200,000 Canadians who adopted a cat or dog during the pandemic, bosses demanding the return of their employees in person may have to consider relaxing.

– ‘relax’ –

For some employees like Johan van Houl, 29, the new rule was a “key factor in his decision” to accept a job at Tungsten last year.

“Allowing dogs is a good indicator” of the company’s culture, owner Evie, who was looking for an environment that was “not very corporate,” told AFP.

Also in Ottawa, this time within the Chandos Bird joint venture, Nuclear Research Laboratory designers were visibly thrilled to have Samson, a 10-year-old blond Yorkshire terrier.

His master, Trevor Watt, did not want to leave him alone in his new home when he returned to the office in January.

Bringing it in was supposed to be a temporary solution. He not only adapted to office life, but also took on his fellow Masters, with whom Samson is now engaged in walking.

“He loves coming to work,” Trevor Watt says, and appreciates “not having to worry about it.”

Its boss, Byron Williams, says petting a dog is a great way to “decompress after a big meeting.”

But having man’s best friend at work can pose certain challenges, for example to employees who are allergic to animals or those who are afraid of them.

Samson remains on leash when fellow Trevor Watt is terrified of dogs.

Some employees of other companies, interviewed by AFP, were able to complain of stains on the carpets, improvised barking and hair all over the place.

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