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Toledo Legal News - Despite 'Take Your Dog to Work Day,' few people do

 

While some Ohio employers allowed workers to bring their furry friends to work on the recent Take Your Dog To Work day, others allow it year round.

Red Roof Inn will be among the employers celebrating "National Take Your Dog to Work Day" on Friday. Typically 15 to 20 employees bring their dogs for the occasion, said Leslie Fisher, senior vice president of human resources and training at the hotel chain.

The tradition started in 2014.

"We sponsor this event each year because we believe pets are an extension of our family. It's a great way to get to know more about our co-workers and their four-legged friends. Plus, dogs will make your day instantly better so why not bring your pet to work to alleviate stress and create an enjoyable workplace," Fisher said.

While employees can take advantage to bring their dogs once a year, travelers can bring one well-behaved pet to any Red Roof Inn location at no additional costs.

Local data analytics firm Futurety provides a pet friendly environment for its employees year round. Some employees bring their dogs sporadically throughout the week but most of them show up on Fridays, said Andrew Hulse, the business development manager for the company.

"It's a piece of the puzzle when you're trying to create a culture of strong and forward-thinking people," he said.

Hulse said he has been dog sitting the company founder's dog, Yeti, for the last two weeks, while his owner spends time in Europe with family.

Futurety's agency-style business model often means employees have to meet client demands most of the time, Hulse said. Having dogs in the workplace can help alleviate stress.

"We haven't had any issues at all," Hulse said. "We have an incredible team."

Employees at pet friendly workplaces report a positive working relationship with their boss and co-workers more than three times than other workplaces, according to a survey from Nationwide.

Additionally, 90 percent of employees in pet friendly workplaces feel highly connected to the company's mission compared with less than 65 percent of employees of non-pet friendly workplaces.

Millennials are more likely to value pet friendly workplaces than Generation X and baby boomers, according to the study.

"Pet owners increasingly think of their pets as members of the family," said Steven Feldman, executive director of the Human Animal Bond Research Institute, which conducted the study with Nationwide. "When employers offer pet friendly benefits, it sends an important signal that the company cares about every member of the family, even the ones with four legs."

Hulse agreed that millennials like himself are leaning towards dog friendly workplaces. "Dog friendly policies and pet friendly policies are the way of the future."

On the other hand, pet friendly policies may not be for everyone, said Lisa Rabasca Roepe in a February 2017 blog post for the Society of Human Resources.

She cited issues such as animal misbehavior and liability for dog bites.

"If allowing workers to bring their pets to work doesn't seem like a good option for your company, you're not alone. Although office animals are making headlines, most organizations don't allow them," she said. "According to the SHRM 2016 Employee Benefits research report, only 7 percent of employers permit pets in the workplace (compared with 8 percent in 2015 and 4 percent in 2014)."

BRANDON KLEIN, Daily Reporter Staff Writer

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