Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Annual Corporate Event Gives Companies a New 'Leash' on Life!

It is said that you can't teach an old dog new tricks, but perhaps an old dog can teach corporate America a thing or two. Friday, June 24th is Take Your Dog to Work Day™ (TYDTWDay) and as a self-professed animal-lover, veterinary assistant, and a member of the pet-friendly Escoe Bliss team, I am a huge enthusiast of this annual corporate event that has been gaining momentum since its launch in 1999.

Being one of the fortunate few and working primarily in pet-friendly offices for most of my career, I have a good idea of the benefits and adjustments that come along with having four-legged co-workers. In fact, I would not have my two "furry babies" if it were not for my first pet-friendly position at Peine Engineering in Indianapolis, IN. There is convincing research to support that a pet-friendly workplace can have a positive effect on productivity, creativity, employee-morale, and decreased levels of employee absenteeism in the office. An all-out pet-friendly policy might be too big of a hurdle for your established, 'don't-fix-what-ain't-broken' company, but TYDTWDay might be an easy little addition that even the most conservative of businesses can embrace in one way or another.

If you and your pooch plan to teach your company a new trick or two, then you better have a few tricks up your sleeve. Your first ally will be the Take Your Dog to Work Day™ website, sponsored by Pet Sitter's International. This website has everything you need; a Participant Action Pack, which is a great tool you can utilize in order to get TYDTWDay started at your company and make it successful; links to published articles that document the benefits that pets can play in the workplace; and even a photo gallery of other pooches hard at work across the country.

As you begin your pursuit to introduce TYDTWDay in your office, remember that diplomacy will get you the most results. If our four-legged friends have taught us anything it's that you make far more friends with tail wags, sitting-pretty, and playing well with others. Start sticking your nose where it doesn't belong or marking territory that isn't yours and you're bound to end up in the dog house. Be prepared to take some important facts into consideration:

How many dogs can your office handle?
Providing a sign-up sheet may be necessary so that you don't accidently turn your office into a dog park. Inform those planning to bring their pups in that they will need to come prepared with a gate, kennel, or a leash at the very least.

Are there members of your team that have pet related allergies or a fear of dogs?
The premise of TYDTWDay is to make the workplace a more enjoyable environment for the day so you certainly don't want the event to cause discomfort or disruption to any of your fellow co-workers. Make sure you address these concerns and take them into strong consideration. Some companies have chosen to leave their furry friends at home, but still celebrate TYDTWDay in other ways, such as; organizing a pet photo contest; finding creative ways of raising money for a local animal shelter; or inviting a representative from a local shelter to visit the office with a couple of adoptable animals.

Is your office prepared to welcome several pups for a full workday and are those pups prepared as well?
Some of our favorite stories as pet owners are those hilarious tales of mischief that we share about the time Rex got into the garbage while we were out or how he got that 5 lb. bag of sugar that we're still trying to vacuum out of the cracks in our floor. Our offices however are full of expensive equipment and potentially harmful objects that could make Rex's first day at work an unpleasant one. Be aware of cords that look chewable, plants that may be poisonous, and candy or snacks that are left in tempting places. It will also be important that any employee choosing to bring their pup with them has kept their dog up-to-date on vaccines and well-groomed. The truth of the matter is that certain contagious diseases can spread quickly between canines and so can fleas! Make sure you impress this important fact upon all participants of TYDTWDay.

The Escoe Bliss team wishes everyone the best in their pursuits to participate in TYDTWDay! All of the pooches at Escoe Bliss (Lizzie, Tinkerbelle, Honeybun, Milo, Maggie, Jack, Guinness & Bass) send a big, enthusiastic "Thank You" for any support that you can provide to their fellow furry friends in need of help. We hope that your Take Your Dog to Work Day™ unleashes abounding success and fun at your office!

All my best,
Regina Gormanly
Escoe Bliss Administrative Assistant

My two, "furry babies" Guinness and Bass. "It's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it."

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